The Standard - 2016 March 6- Sunday

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VOL. XXX  NO. 25  3 Sections 24 Pages P18  SUNDAY : MARCH 6, 2016  www.thestandard.com.ph  editorial@thestandard.com.ph

POE ALLY OUSTED, GETS TRO

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UNA HITS ILLEGAL AUDIT OF POLL BETS By Christine F. Herrera and Vito Barcelo

THE Ombudsman is supposedly exerting undue pressure on the Commission on Audit to release and submit an incomplete special audit report on Makati City Hall Building 2 in a bid to derail the candidacy of opposition presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay. But in stark contrast, UNA president Toby Tiangco said Saturday, the COA and Ombudsman were “pussyfooting” on its reports on the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program of the Aqui-

no administration. “We have been informed that the Ombudsman has been personally calling up COA officials telling them to transmit to her office its special audit report on Makati Building 2 even if the report does

not include the replies or comments of City Hall officials. “The Ombudsman, on the other hand, is sitting on its hand and has failed to even consider taking action against those involved in the DAP scandal which has been declared unlawful and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” Tiangco said. He said at least 38 members of the ruling Liberal Party were implicated in the PDAF scam. “But until now, the COA has not finished its report because many LP members of other allies of the administration will be implicated,” Tiangco said.

“In the case of DAP, where the Supreme Court already made a ruling of bad faith on the part of [Budget[ Secretary [Florencio] Abad, there is no COA referral to the Ombudsman,” Tiangco lamented. “In so doing, the Ombudsman wants COA to effectively discard the findings of 11 audits, including one conducted by technical specialists, which concluded there was no overpricing and that the said project complied with COA regulations,” he added. Tiangco said the COA would violate its own policy that no special audits should be done against candidates running for the May elections.

“It will also be in direct contravention of COA Resolution 2015033, dated Sept. 29, 2015, prohibiting the conduct of special audit against candidates of the 2016 elections,” he explained. Quoting COA insiders, Tiangco said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales personally called up a ranking COA official prior to her trip abroad demanding that the audit report be released immediately. Tiangco said these acts bolster UNA’s claim that Morales has displayed blatant partiality when handling complaints involving the Vice President and members of his Next page family.

TRUE COLOR. Although she was wearing a yellow apron provided by the Roxas-Robredo camp, a vendor at the Kamuning Public Market in Quezon City vowed to support Vice President Jejomar Binay who visited the market on Saturday morning.

‘ROCKETSTOVE’ TOPS SIKAT DESIGN TILT

B1

MANILA IMPOUNDS NOKOR SHIP FOLLOWING a United Nations resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the Philippines said Saturday it had impounded a North Korean vessel in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2270. Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said the 6,830-ton cargo ship Jin Teng

will not be allowed to leave Subic Freeport, where it had been docked for three days and its crew will be deported. “We know that the world is disturbed by what is happening in North Korea because of its nuclear weapons program and its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and the United Nations Security Council imposed sanc-

tions,” according to Quezon. “As part of the UN, we have an obligation to do its part to enforce the sanctions,” he said. It was the first reported case of the sanctions—the toughest to date, which were adopted late Wednesday by the UN Security Council—being enforced. Next page


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news

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BINAY, ROXAS IN WORD WAR By Christine F. Herrera

AS Soon as the surveys came out to show who was taking the lead or lagging behind the presidential race, bitter archrivals Vice President Jejomar Binay of opposition United nationalist Alliance and Manuel Roxas II of administration’s Liberal Party immediately engaged in a word war. Shortly after Pulse Asia released its findings Friday that Binay took the top spot and shared the lead with equally frontrunner Senator Grace Poe, Roxas intensified his attacks against Binay, describing his style of governance a “revert to the dirty old past leadership.” Binay shot back and reminded Roxas that by attempting to challenge him again, Roxas may be repeating history of suffering from defeat. Roxas ran but lost to Binay by 700,000 votes in the 2010 vice presidential race. The two are again squaring off in the 2016 presidential polls. “You said, VP Binay, that you will do to the Philippines what you did to Makati. Oh please don’t! It will be so sad if the Philippines will have to suffer the thievery that you did in Makati,” Roxas said. Binay retorted: “You all know Mr. Roxas does not want to stop making accusations. I will repeat,

Mr. Roxas, an accusation is not a fact. I can also accuse you: you have many irregularities at the [Department of Transportation and Communications] and your signature is there. “But I will not accuse you because it is wrong to make accusations just so you can destroy a person.” Binay said Roxas was getting desperate and was only trying to demonize him in an attempt to make the latter’s poor rating improve at his expense. The Roxas camp also “maliciously” linked Binay to former Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and tagged the duo as the “dream team of cheaters,” he said. Binay vehemently denied knowing Garcillano, who was made infamous by the so-called Hello Garci scandal where then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo spoke with the Comelec official at

the height of the 2004 presidential elections, which Mrs. Arroyo won. “My opponents are getting nervous. Maybe they want their ratings to go up. But please, not at my expense. They are getting desperate. Maybe that’s what they are doing. Maybe they are the ones who summoned [Garcillano] to Malacañang. I don’t know him, I don’t talk to him, I don’t see him. “These are all lies that they are peddling. Because they are now nothing. They are already losers because of they just say what their minds come up with,” Binay said. Binay’s communications director Joey Salgado said it was preposterous for the Roxas camp to cry cheating against Binay, who is an opposition candidate, when it was the Roxas camp that has access to all government resources. “Wow, first time that the administration is crying that they would be cheated in the elections. But who has control and is actually using government resources, among others?” Salgado said. As Binay thanked the administration allies who abandoned Roxas and defected to Binay, Roxas, on the other hand, branded them as “political turncoats.” He warned his remaining allies that, “If you are not with us, you are against us and the Straight Path.” Roxas issued the warning after Talisay, Cebu Mayor Johnny delos Reyes left the LP fold for Binay.

“It is a good thing that he showed his true colors. It was better that he left if he is not in anyway with us in Daang Matuwid [Straight Path], where our principle is for good governance,” Roxas said. “Those who are not with Daang Matuwid want the old ways and dirty leadership. That makes it easier for our countrymen to choose their next leaders,” he added. Roxas also lashed at 27 of his allies, mostly incumbent mayors and vice mayors in Bohol, who turned opposition and forged alliances to form the Bohol United Opposition to back Binay. Historically, Binay said, his ratings go up two months before the elections, most especially in the last two weeks into the polls. “Vice President Binay remains grateful for the trust and support of our people. He is offering to them a decisive and compassionate presidency that will address their concerns, with poverty being his top priority,” said Binay spokesman Rico Quicho. “We expect that with every rise in the survey results, the demolition by perception being waged by lethargic candidates will intensify. The Vice President will not be distracted from his determination to serve the people,” he said. Roxas said that such movements in political alliances, especially in the local level, are no longer a surprise.

UNA... From A1

“The Ombudsman represents an administration that has a track record of flouting the law and the

Constitution in bringing down its political enemies while ignoring, aiding and abetting unlawful acts of its partymates and allies,” he said. Tiangco said he is no longer surprised that the Ombudsman is intent on releasing the incomplete report, which will be used to file plunder charges against the Vice President after his term and son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay. “While there is no justification or excuse for behavior like this, it

MANILA... From A1

IMPOUNDED. Philippine coastguards inspects the equipment of the cargo ship Jin Teng which was

impounded by the authorities on Saturday in compliance with a United Nations resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. AFP/COAST GUARD

The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, arrived in Subic from Palembang, Indonesia Thursday afternoon, just hours after the UN passed its latest sanction against the reclusive nation. As a response, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un ordered its nuclear arsenal put on standby for pre-emptive use. A team from the UN is expected to inspect the ship in the port, located near a former United States naval base, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said. Jose told AFP the ship was impounded “in compliance with the UN resolution” and did not depend on the results of the inspections.

“[We], the Team Daang Matuwid, remain solid and united in fighting for good governance,” he said. “We are standing on the solid foundation of ‘Daang Matuwid’, our kababayans have felt the benefits of good governance through our programs.” Roxas said the Daang Matuwid enrolled 4.5 million Filipinos under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that helped 330,000 high school students graduate last year, and expanded the coverage of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. to 6.5 million patients. “These are concrete data, not wishes and promises as what other candidates are making right now, to win votes. We have done these already and I will fight for it, no matter what,” Roxas said. “We have proven that if funds are not stolen by corrupt officials, progress will cascade down to those who have less in life. So, let us not allow those who are enemies of ‘Daang Matuwid’ to revert the country to old ways,” he added. But Binay insisted that voters will see through the lies of Roxas. “I think history is going to be repeated,” he said. “Even before, they have been desperate. However, no matter how hard they try to destroy me, accusing me left and right of baseless charges, peddling lies against me, their ratings don’t go up. They’re just losers,” Binay said.

is no longer surprising. When it involves Vice President Binay and his family, the Ombudsman is very fast even if she is breaking the law and her own rules,” he said. “We are no longer surprised at similar moves of the Ombudsman. It clearly shows that they are in cahoots with those who are out to destroy Vice President Binay in order to stop his pro-poor programs,” Tiangco added. Binay filed a P200-million damage suit against Morales and 12 others for repeatedly spreading allegations of plunder, graft and corruption, and other illegal activities against him based on unverified and even fabricated sources, and despite the fact these have not been proven in court. The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, was searched for the second time on Saturday, this time using electronic weapons sensors, coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told AFP, adding the 21 crewmen were “very cooperative.” Balilo said no explosives, drugs or banned substances have been found so far. North Korea has no embassy in the Philippines. Its embassies in Thailand and Indonesia were unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP. There are no other North Korean ships docked in Subic, according to the coastguard. On Friday, the European Union also tightened sanctions against North Korea by adding 16 people and 12 entities to a list of some 60 individuals and groups who were hit with travel bans and asset freezes. AFP


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NEWS

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KEY POE ALLY FIRED

PROTEST ART. Members of the women’s group Gabriela apply finishing touches to a mural on boxes depicting President Benigno Aquino III, Uncle Sam and administration candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo in a yellow vehicle running over people. MANNY PALMERO

BPO INDUSTRY PIONEER: GLORIA, NOT MAR, DID IT By John Paolo Bencito and Christine Herrera

ADMINISTRATION candidate Manuel Roxas II insisted on Saturday that he was the “Father of the IT-BPO sector,” but an industry pioneer disputed the claim and said the credit should go to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Speaking before a group of call center agents in Muntinlupa City, Roxas insisted that he started the local business process outsourcing industry when he was still secretary of Trade and Industry during the Arroyo administration. “We started and expanded this BPO sector when I was still DTI chief. I still remember that people would laugh at me as they did not understand what are call centers, or IT-BPOs. But now, you can see that

more than one million jobs and livelihood are created,” Roxas said. “There’s really a big impact to our economy, and I am overjoyed for the support and trust that they have given me and our countrymen can expect that the development of call centers, IT-BPO sector will give relief to our countrymen,” Roxas said. However, industry pioneer Oscar Sañez, who led IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines from 2007 to 2011, disputed

Roxas’ claim and said the industtry’s phenomenal growth should go to Arroyo. Sañez said there were only 2,400 call center workers in 2000 when Roxas was named DTI secretary and he served less than a year because he resigned in 2001 at the height of the second People Power uprising against then President Joseph Estrada. Although he was later re-appointed by Arroyo, he resigned the DTI portfolio in 2003 because he wanted to run for senator. While Roxas was attending to his politics, Sañez said the industry grew on an average of 65 percent per annum over a decade and had nearly half a million workers by the end of 2009 which was Mrs. Arroyo’s last full year in office. Even when Roxas was no longer in the DTI, total export revenues

generated by the IT-BPO industry grew from only $1.3 billion in 2003 to $8.9 billion in 2010. “I know how much the business process offshoring and outsourcing sector owes Mrs. Arroyo. We are proud to describe ourselves as a successful model of real private public partnership or PPP,” Sañez added. He said the Arroyo administration’s support to the industry included the creation of the ITBPAP, creation of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology, providing investor support through the accreditation of buildings used by the industry, completion of infrastructure projects like airports, and training vouchers from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority worth over P800 million from 2007-09.

THE Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from government service of Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian purportedly because of his responsibility for the Kentex factory fire that killed 74 people in May last year. But Gatchalian, a ranking official of the Nationalist People’s Coalition that recently backed the presidential candidacy of Senator Grace Poe, said his lawyers were able to secure a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals stopping the dismissal order. “My counsels received an order [dismissal] to that effect. To the same degree they were able to secure a TRO,” Gatchalian told The Standard in a text message. “This TRO is important because without it there will be a chilling effect on city mayors of highlyurbanized cities as we exercise the same procedure,” Gatchalian said. “Furthermore, there will be irreparable damage to our economy and generate massive unemployment.” Gatchalian was charged last July with violating the Fire Code for issuing a business permit to Kentex Manufacturing Corp., the owner of the factory, although the establishment did not have a fire safety inspection certificate from the Bureau of Fire Protection. But the mayor said that at the time of the Kentex fire, BFP records show that out of the close to 300,000 establishments in Metro Manila, only 15 percent had FSICs rules issued by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government and the BFP allowed the issuance of provisional business permits pending the issuance of FSICs. Vice presidential candidate Senator Francis Escudero was the first to announce the Ombudsman issuance of Friday and suggested that the dismissal order may be politically motivated. “It is not right that only one mayor should be dismissed because administration standard bearer Manuel Roxas II, who was DILG secretary at the time, is aware of the fact that mayors are authorized to issue a business permit pending the release of FSIC,” Escudero said. Christine F. Herrera

PRELATES: COMELEC BREAKING POLL LAW By Sara Susanne D. Fabunan

TWO Catholic prelates expressed disappointment on Saturday at the decision of the Commission on Elections not to issue a voter’s receipt in the forthcoming election and raises more doubts about the credibility and legality of the automated election system. But while Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo lamented the Comelec’s “bad decision,” the Legal Network for Truthful Elections said the onscreen verification of votes was the next best thing the poll body could do. “It is clear that Comelec is breaking the law and depriving the people of their right to be assured their vote is counted,” Arguelles said on Saturday after the Comelec disapproved the Voter Verified Paper Trail security features but approved the onscreen verification feature in

its stead. “Together with the Chairman’s statement that there was no cheating in the 2010 and 2013 automated elections, the Comelec has clearly shown itself against the people,” Arguelles said. Pabillo, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said it was “a very bad decision of Comelec.” But while Lente was really for the activation of the VVPAT, but onscreen verification would suffice if it were true that there was really no time to print the vote receipts. “For us in Lente, the best option really is to enable the VVPAT but because the Comelec has decided not to use it, the next better option is to enable the onscreen verification,’’ Lente executive director Rona Ann Caritos said in a television interview.

COURTESY CALL. Japan International Cooperation Agency president Shinichi Kitaoka shakes hands with President Benigno Aquino III during a courtesy call at Malacañang Palace on Friday.


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OPINION

ADELLE CHUA EDITOR

lettertotheeditor@thestandard.com.ph

OPINION

EVERYMAN

WHY GRACE POE HAS TEN-YEAR RESIDENCY

[ EDI TORI A L ]

By Roman Mosqueda THIS constitutional issue is before the Supreme Court for final decision on petitions for certiorari filed by Senator Grace Poe against the Commission on Election’s en banc decision. Article VII, Section 2 of the Philippine 1987 Constitution states the 10-year residence requirement as follows: “No person may be elected President or Vice President unless he is … a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” Thus, the critical period of residency for Poe is from May 9, 2006 to May 9, 2016—the 10 years immediately preceding the May 9, 2016 national elections. Although the United States Constitution was not extended to the Philippines through the Treaty of Paris, deliberations on the 1934 Philippine Constitutional Commission show that the eligibility requirements for president were patterned after the US Constitution. Such eligibility requirement on residence was merely carried over to the 1973 and 1987 Philippine Constitutions. From the 1928 case of Nuval vs. Guray, the 1934 case of Lorena vs. Tenco, the 1954 case of Faypen v. Quirino to the 1995 case of Imelda R. Marcos vs. Comelec et al., the Philippine Supreme Court has equated election “residence” to domicile. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: (1) an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and (3) acts which correspond with the said purpose. On the other hand, domicile is defined as residence—that is, a person’s principal, actual dwelling place, by US immigration laws and regulations. Whether a citizen at birth or by naturalization, a US citizen is not required to be a domiciliary or resident of the United States to retain US citizenship. Grace Poe was adopted by Ronald Allan Kelly Poe and actress Susan Roces in 1973. She attended elementary school at Saint Paul College before enrolling at Assumption College in San Lorenzo for high school. She then studied at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, majoring in development studies for two years; and then transferred to Boston College in Massachussets where she finished a degree in political science in 1991. On July 27, 1991, she married dual citizen Teodoro Misael Llamanzares in the Philippines at age 22. She returned to the United States and lived a quiet life in Fairfax, Virginia, but returned to the Philippines to deliver her first born, Brian, on April 16, 1992, her second born, Hanna in 1998, and her youngest, Nikka, in 2004. She became a naturalized US citizen on Oct. 18, 2001, but after the death of her father on Dec. 14, 2004, she and her family returned to the Philippines for good on April 8, 2005, to be with her widowed mother. On July 7, 2006, she applied for dual citizenship

WHAT NOW? WITH the release of the latest poll survey results this week, our leaders have just made it official that all their attention is focused on the May 9, 2016 elections. That would be understandable, while still unacceptable, if all our leaders were themselves running for office. At least then, they would have an excuse to spend their waking hours thinking about and working toward their election even if technically, they are still supposed to be working on the jobs we pay them for. Those, however, who are not running altogether yet are preoccupied with campaigning for their chosen candidates insult us the most. The best example is set by no less than President Benigno Aquino III who is as active on the campaign trail as his official anointed candidate, former Secretary Manuel Roxas II. Sporting a yellow shirt as if he were president only of those who think and believe like he does, Mr. Aquino regales the people of tales of his upright upbringing, his family’s sacrifices and the virtues of treading the Daang Matuwid. Meanwhile, there is a gaping disconnect between the good work they claim to be doing and what is actually happening on the ground. Two months before the elections, many of the promises uttered in 2010 still have not come about. The freedom of information bill remains just that, a bill, despite this administration’s statements on transparency and accountability. More Filipinos count themselves poor, having been given palliative solutions like cash doles. Infrastructure that would invite long-term investments and make working easier for Filipinos has been limited. Peace in Mindanao remains elusive, all because of haste in ramming through a law based on talks with only one stakeholder in the south. And many others. During these remaining weeks of the incumbent administration, it will be next to impossible to see actual work being done. Our only resort is to do ours, in choosing well.

Continued on A6

DONALD TRUMP’S VERY HUMAN FAILING By Megan McArdle POOR Donald Trump. Those aren’t words that one normally hears about the presidential candidate. But they were what floated through my mind during Thursday night’s Republican debate when Fox News’ Chris Wallace began grilling him about the details of his plan to cut taxes by about a trillion dollars a year, then make up for it by cutting “waste, fraud and abuse.” Asked where, specifically, he mumbled through some agencies, at which point Wallace dryly said, “Please put up full screen number four.” “Full screen number four,” as you might already have guessed,

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had numbers on it. And those numbers showed what everyone paying attention already knew: Trump’s numbers were arrant nonsense. Trump, looking a trifle dazed, said, “Let me explain something,” and launched into a tirade about saving hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating the sweet deals that pharmaceutical firms are getting from their congressional hirelings. Wallace’s eyes assumed the delighted gleam of an apex predator smelling blood in the crisp autumn air. “Let’s put up full screen number two,” he said. I don’t really have to tell you what was on “full screen number two,” do I? Oh, heck, I will anyway. The US government spends $78

But the folks we should really be feeling sorry for are the American people, who might end up having their country run by someone who can’t be bothered to find out what’s happening in it.

billion a year on pharmaceuticals, not the $300 billion Trump claims. Apparently, The Donald is such a great negotiator that drug companies are going to be paying us to use their products. Which is, I suppose, one way to create jobs. It is a columnist’s privilege to conjure up mental dialogue for candidates at such moments. And what I imagined Donald Trump to be thinking was this: “You didn’t tell me there’d be math on this test. Everyone said there was no math!” And that was a perfectly fair inference to draw from the quadrennial Republican tradition of promising completely unrealistic tax plans without having a way to pay for them. But it’s hard to feel too sorry for

him. Trump is the frontrunner, and he has reached that location with some rather loathsome tactics, on the debate stage and off. One of the hallmarks of his campaign has been an utter refusal to do the basic homework that a candidate needs to do, such as familiarize himself with the details of some policy areas and, indeed, the details of his own plans. So far, Trump hasn’t bothered, nor found advisers who could help him with his term papers—which is worrying, given that there are no makeups for the pop quizzes with which reality routinely peppers our nation’s presidents. Instead, he has displayed a penchant for making up numbers

on the fly. Most candidates are afraid to do this; they prefer to make up numbers only after long deliberation, carefully handcrafting artisanal figures designed to please the eye while being, however tenuously, connected to reality. There are some benefits to the more spontaneous approach embraced by Donald Trump, most notably that you get numbers that are much more convincing to an audience that doesn’t know what the real numbers are (read: 99

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percent of the voting public). But there are some drawbacks, too, and those came out in force Thursday night. As Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz relentlessly attacked, Trump kept trying to repeat his favorite standbys: He’s employed tens of thousands of people, his polls are great, everyone tells him how great he is, Marco Rubio is short. That was enough when there were 10 people on the stage and you only heard it every 20 minutes or so. But with just four people there,

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it began to fall flat, and he knew it. There wasn’t enough time between the last time he’d told you he’d created tens of thousands of jobs and the current iteration, so it acquired the plaintive ring of your great uncle telling you, yet again, how popular he was with the nurses during World War II. And then the moderators had the gall to actually force him to look at his own imaginary numbers and try to defend the indefensible. It is not news that Donald Trump has no interest in, or

command of, policy. But as the moderators kept asking him about details, I became fascinated by how he gets his numbers. How, for example, did he decide that he could save the US government $300 billion a year on its prescription drug spending? It’s such a specific figure, and not what you would necessarily come up with off the top of your head, because made-up numbers, in my experience, tend to come in fives and tens. (People wildly guessing at numbers they don’t know tend

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to count like this: 5 million, 10 million, 25 million, 100 million, 150 million, 500 million.) This is part of a pattern with Trump’s pronouncements, at least on health care, the area I’m most familiar with. He lazily grabs a sound bite here and there, but because he doesn’t do the boring, necessary work of actually learning what they mean —much less formulating a plan— these sound bites have a tendency to mutate. Eventually, enough Continued on A6

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S U N D AY, M A R C H 6 , 2 0 1 6

A4

OPINION

ADELLE CHUA EDITOR

lettertotheeditor@thestandard.com.ph

OPINION

EVERYMAN

WHY GRACE POE HAS TEN-YEAR RESIDENCY

[ EDI TORI A L ]

By Roman Mosqueda THIS constitutional issue is before the Supreme Court for final decision on petitions for certiorari filed by Senator Grace Poe against the Commission on Election’s en banc decision. Article VII, Section 2 of the Philippine 1987 Constitution states the 10-year residence requirement as follows: “No person may be elected President or Vice President unless he is … a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” Thus, the critical period of residency for Poe is from May 9, 2006 to May 9, 2016—the 10 years immediately preceding the May 9, 2016 national elections. Although the United States Constitution was not extended to the Philippines through the Treaty of Paris, deliberations on the 1934 Philippine Constitutional Commission show that the eligibility requirements for president were patterned after the US Constitution. Such eligibility requirement on residence was merely carried over to the 1973 and 1987 Philippine Constitutions. From the 1928 case of Nuval vs. Guray, the 1934 case of Lorena vs. Tenco, the 1954 case of Faypen v. Quirino to the 1995 case of Imelda R. Marcos vs. Comelec et al., the Philippine Supreme Court has equated election “residence” to domicile. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: (1) an actual removal or an actual change of domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and (3) acts which correspond with the said purpose. On the other hand, domicile is defined as residence—that is, a person’s principal, actual dwelling place, by US immigration laws and regulations. Whether a citizen at birth or by naturalization, a US citizen is not required to be a domiciliary or resident of the United States to retain US citizenship. Grace Poe was adopted by Ronald Allan Kelly Poe and actress Susan Roces in 1973. She attended elementary school at Saint Paul College before enrolling at Assumption College in San Lorenzo for high school. She then studied at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, majoring in development studies for two years; and then transferred to Boston College in Massachussets where she finished a degree in political science in 1991. On July 27, 1991, she married dual citizen Teodoro Misael Llamanzares in the Philippines at age 22. She returned to the United States and lived a quiet life in Fairfax, Virginia, but returned to the Philippines to deliver her first born, Brian, on April 16, 1992, her second born, Hanna in 1998, and her youngest, Nikka, in 2004. She became a naturalized US citizen on Oct. 18, 2001, but after the death of her father on Dec. 14, 2004, she and her family returned to the Philippines for good on April 8, 2005, to be with her widowed mother. On July 7, 2006, she applied for dual citizenship

WHAT NOW? WITH the release of the latest poll survey results this week, our leaders have just made it official that all their attention is focused on the May 9, 2016 elections. That would be understandable, while still unacceptable, if all our leaders were themselves running for office. At least then, they would have an excuse to spend their waking hours thinking about and working toward their election even if technically, they are still supposed to be working on the jobs we pay them for. Those, however, who are not running altogether yet are preoccupied with campaigning for their chosen candidates insult us the most. The best example is set by no less than President Benigno Aquino III who is as active on the campaign trail as his official anointed candidate, former Secretary Manuel Roxas II. Sporting a yellow shirt as if he were president only of those who think and believe like he does, Mr. Aquino regales the people of tales of his upright upbringing, his family’s sacrifices and the virtues of treading the Daang Matuwid. Meanwhile, there is a gaping disconnect between the good work they claim to be doing and what is actually happening on the ground. Two months before the elections, many of the promises uttered in 2010 still have not come about. The freedom of information bill remains just that, a bill, despite this administration’s statements on transparency and accountability. More Filipinos count themselves poor, having been given palliative solutions like cash doles. Infrastructure that would invite long-term investments and make working easier for Filipinos has been limited. Peace in Mindanao remains elusive, all because of haste in ramming through a law based on talks with only one stakeholder in the south. And many others. During these remaining weeks of the incumbent administration, it will be next to impossible to see actual work being done. Our only resort is to do ours, in choosing well.

Continued on A6

DONALD TRUMP’S VERY HUMAN FAILING By Megan McArdle POOR Donald Trump. Those aren’t words that one normally hears about the presidential candidate. But they were what floated through my mind during Thursday night’s Republican debate when Fox News’ Chris Wallace began grilling him about the details of his plan to cut taxes by about a trillion dollars a year, then make up for it by cutting “waste, fraud and abuse.” Asked where, specifically, he mumbled through some agencies, at which point Wallace dryly said, “Please put up full screen number four.” “Full screen number four,” as you might already have guessed,

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had numbers on it. And those numbers showed what everyone paying attention already knew: Trump’s numbers were arrant nonsense. Trump, looking a trifle dazed, said, “Let me explain something,” and launched into a tirade about saving hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating the sweet deals that pharmaceutical firms are getting from their congressional hirelings. Wallace’s eyes assumed the delighted gleam of an apex predator smelling blood in the crisp autumn air. “Let’s put up full screen number two,” he said. I don’t really have to tell you what was on “full screen number two,” do I? Oh, heck, I will anyway. The US government spends $78

But the folks we should really be feeling sorry for are the American people, who might end up having their country run by someone who can’t be bothered to find out what’s happening in it.

billion a year on pharmaceuticals, not the $300 billion Trump claims. Apparently, The Donald is such a great negotiator that drug companies are going to be paying us to use their products. Which is, I suppose, one way to create jobs. It is a columnist’s privilege to conjure up mental dialogue for candidates at such moments. And what I imagined Donald Trump to be thinking was this: “You didn’t tell me there’d be math on this test. Everyone said there was no math!” And that was a perfectly fair inference to draw from the quadrennial Republican tradition of promising completely unrealistic tax plans without having a way to pay for them. But it’s hard to feel too sorry for

him. Trump is the frontrunner, and he has reached that location with some rather loathsome tactics, on the debate stage and off. One of the hallmarks of his campaign has been an utter refusal to do the basic homework that a candidate needs to do, such as familiarize himself with the details of some policy areas and, indeed, the details of his own plans. So far, Trump hasn’t bothered, nor found advisers who could help him with his term papers—which is worrying, given that there are no makeups for the pop quizzes with which reality routinely peppers our nation’s presidents. Instead, he has displayed a penchant for making up numbers

on the fly. Most candidates are afraid to do this; they prefer to make up numbers only after long deliberation, carefully handcrafting artisanal figures designed to please the eye while being, however tenuously, connected to reality. There are some benefits to the more spontaneous approach embraced by Donald Trump, most notably that you get numbers that are much more convincing to an audience that doesn’t know what the real numbers are (read: 99

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percent of the voting public). But there are some drawbacks, too, and those came out in force Thursday night. As Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz relentlessly attacked, Trump kept trying to repeat his favorite standbys: He’s employed tens of thousands of people, his polls are great, everyone tells him how great he is, Marco Rubio is short. That was enough when there were 10 people on the stage and you only heard it every 20 minutes or so. But with just four people there,

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it began to fall flat, and he knew it. There wasn’t enough time between the last time he’d told you he’d created tens of thousands of jobs and the current iteration, so it acquired the plaintive ring of your great uncle telling you, yet again, how popular he was with the nurses during World War II. And then the moderators had the gall to actually force him to look at his own imaginary numbers and try to defend the indefensible. It is not news that Donald Trump has no interest in, or

command of, policy. But as the moderators kept asking him about details, I became fascinated by how he gets his numbers. How, for example, did he decide that he could save the US government $300 billion a year on its prescription drug spending? It’s such a specific figure, and not what you would necessarily come up with off the top of your head, because made-up numbers, in my experience, tend to come in fives and tens. (People wildly guessing at numbers they don’t know tend

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to count like this: 5 million, 10 million, 25 million, 100 million, 150 million, 500 million.) This is part of a pattern with Trump’s pronouncements, at least on health care, the area I’m most familiar with. He lazily grabs a sound bite here and there, but because he doesn’t do the boring, necessary work of actually learning what they mean —much less formulating a plan— these sound bites have a tendency to mutate. Eventually, enough Continued on A6

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OPINION

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ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, FUN AND GAMES ABOUND By Jean-Louis de La Vaissiere VATICAN CITY—At the beginning of each trip aboard the papal plane, Jorge Mario Bergoglio greets every single journalist onboard. He spends a little time with each, shaking every hand warmly. He hugs those he knows personally. Many pose for selfies, others present him with little gifts. Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, looks at cellphone photos of kids’ birthday parties, watches grandkids singing songs on tablets. Francis is patient and kind. When some request a prayer, he asks for the person’s name and promises to pray for him or her. Things have changed aboard the papal plane: The atmosphere is now decidedly less uptight, and, at times, can get downright playful. We could chalk it down to the Francis effect. Or perhaps that even the strictest and most serious vaticanologists need some R&R after long and intense days as part of the papal cavalry. On this flight from Rome to Mexico, Pope Francis lets one journalist shine his shoes. To pay for his first communion robes as a child, the journalist had to shine shoes in the street. With this gesture, he wants to thank the pope for all he does for the poor, for people from the streets. Some journalists think that this closeness with Pope Francis sometimes goes too far—that the line between journalism and religion has blurred. But they nevertheless welcome the relationship. On some occasions, we’ll happen to celebrate someone’s birthday with the pope onboard the plane. We’ll bring in a cake and the pope will applaud along with everybody else. He never seems to be bored or bothered by it. On the way back from Mexico, there is a party for Alberto Gasbarri. It’s his last trip. The man is an institution: forever at the pope’s right-hand, Gasbarri has organized 30 years’ worth of trips. He was there for Jean Paul II, Benoit XVI, and now Francis. Numerous veterans of the Vatican press corps pay their tributes, and the pope adds one of his own: “Many thanks. He has given me countless good advice! He does have one flaw: He doesn’t really know how to calculate in kilometers!” Feeling like ‘Daniel in the lions’ den’ At the beginning of his papacy, Francis wasn’t always this comfortable. On his very first trip, for the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, he said he feared journalists and felt like “Daniel in the lions’ den.” But on the return trip, he realized that these lions did not bite. Since then, he hasn’t stopped praising the “hard work of journalists,” highlighting how important it is that they accurately report his words and the work he does in matters of peace and reconciliation. “Thank you very much for your work,” he says often. “Do what you can! Thank you very much, thank you.” Sometimes, he confides in us, as if speaking to close friends. After leaving Rome at dawn because we had to stop at Havana airport for several extra hours to witness an intense history-making meeting between the pope and Patriach Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Pope Francis admits to fatigue. “Now, 23 km on the open popemobile awaits,” he says with a tired smile, just before we land in Mexico, referring to the journey between

EVERYMAN... From A5 under Republic Act 9225, and her Philippine citizenship was restored as well as those of her three children on July 18, 2006. She renounced her US citizenship before a Philippine notary on Oct. 6, 2010, and before a US Consul in Manila on July 12, 2011. Her loss of US citizenship was approved on Dec. 9, 2011. She was appointed and served as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board from Oct. 10, 2010 to Oct. 2, 2012, when she resigned to run for senator. Running as an independent candidate, she won first place in the 2013 Senate elections with over

Pope Francis tries a traditional Mexican sombrero hat received as a gift from a Mexican journalist on Feb. 12, 2016, aboard a plane from Rome to Havana. AFP

the airport and our destination. Jesuit authority The traditional press conferences Pope Francis holds with the press corps aboard the plane on his return trips are also unconventional. In marked contrast to his predecessor, Benoit XVI, Pope Francis doesn’t know journalists’ questions in advance. He lets them ask him anything, preferring to be frank without losing his Jesuit authority. On the return flight, a journalist asks the pope whether he dreams in Spanish or Italian. Pope Francis, the grandchild of Italian immigrants born in Argentina, responds: “In Esperanto!” Trump ‘is not Christian’ He tells her of his dream to visit China. Not always cautious, he says that US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump “is not Christian” if he wants to build a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States. Ever the Jesuit, Pope Francis immediately clarifies and says he gives Trump “the benefit of the doubt” in case Trump’s words were wrongly reported. But the pope’s statement is sure to become headline news worldwide, just as in January 2015, when, on his return from the Philippines, he said that Catholics were not called on to breed “like rabbits.” On that trip, he also said that it would be normal for someone who insulted his mother to expect “a punch.” For journalists, trips with Francis offer regular moments for laughter and great humor. On landing at the airport in Kampala on a November trip to Uganda, for example, some journalists, lured by the traditional dances, also started dancing on their side. A pillow fight on the Pope’s flight There are other times when the papal press corps, due to fatigue, has completely let go: After a visit to Morelia, a town

north of Mexico City, when a pillow fight unexpectedly broke out aboard as we left Mexico. The day has been a long one: up at 4 a.m., arrival by plane, bus transfers to the destination, long waits in press rooms with unreliable wifi, stops at two packed stadiums near galleries with thundering throngs… And we’re not finished: back at the hotel, we’ll have to wait for the day’s detailed report by Father Federico Lombardi, the Jesuit priest who acts as the pope’s spokesman. The day will again end too late for me to grab a drink with my colleagues! The plane waits for the arrival of the pope on the tarmac of the tiny airport in Morelia, the overhead bag compartments full of little presents the pope has received over the course of the day. A multicolor sombrero and a cross of Christ in a crude Sulpician style add a touch of Fellini to the whole. A colleague makes some of us laugh with a photo he took of the very serious Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the second in line at the Vatican to Pope Francis, hugging a huge mascot—a priest dressed as a giant teddy bear—during a ceremony for hundreds of children in Morelia’s cathedral. Add to this scene a shot of tequila swallowed in one gulp and happy hour begins: one pillow flies through the air. And then another. During a minute, the little cushions that flight attendants give out to passengers fly at noses and blindside the heads of one and all. Like high schoolers, Vatican’s finest, men and women, engage in a pillow fight. Domenico Giani, the inspector general of the Vatican’s police and security force, arrives. A pillow hits him on his bald head. Undeterred, he picks it up. This man who is under daily pressure by his boss to engage directly with the people, launches it back, smiling. AFP

20 million votes. There is no dispute that her domicile of origin under Philippine election law is the Philippines. And although she became a lawful permanent resident of the United States and then a naturalized US citizen, she could and did retain her domicile of origin in the Philippines for election law purposes, so long as her US residence (not domicile) was the permanent one for US immigration law purposes. She merely gained a new address in Virginia after her marriage. Granting arguendo that she had abandoned her Philippine domicile of origin when she became a lawful permanent resident and then

a naturalized US citizen, she could and did change domicile from the United States to the Philippines on April 8, 2005, when she and her family returned to the Philippines for good. Her re-establishment of Philippine domicile by choice on April 8, 2005 sufficiently complies with the 10-year residence requirement from May 9, 2006 to May 9, 2016. (Mosqueda, a lawyer by profession, is a dual citizen of the Philippines and the US. He has published numerous articles on constitutional law, international law, and immigration law, among others.)

DONALD... From A5 mutations occur that his monsters take on a life of their own and turn on their master, as they did in Thursday’s debate. Lest you think that I am being unduly harsh on Mr. Trump, let me point out that this is a very common human failing. Everyone who reads has a halfremembered collection of statistics that they haul out in conversation. It is particularly noticeable if you happen to be in my line of work, both because I have to check my own collection carefully to eliminate the mutations before I can write them down, and because spending so much time on various policy areas means that I notice a lot of the ones emitted by other people. But those other people have an excuse that Mr. Trump cannot offer: They have other things to do. They are busy doing their day jobs, raising families, keeping up the house and yard, and hopefully getting a little rest and fun in between. It’s not their job to understand every issue and remember the numbers correctly. Unfortunately, that’s the job Mr. Trump is running for. To be sure, he’d have a lot of help—at least, if he can find any advisers willing to work with him. But he’s going to have to do a lot of long, hard, boring work before and after their briefings, understanding the details of the situations he’s faced with and the policies he is proposing to address them. The man in charge of the world’s largest military, its biggest nuclear arsenal, its most productive economy, cannot get by like a Boy Scout in the wilderness, building a fire by rubbing two statistics together. Particularly not if they’re both rotten. And before you say, “Well, he’s not president yet,” remember that the other candidates left on stage have been doing this for months—years, really. They know their issues. They know their policy plans. They have answers that aren’t just made up on the spot. You might not like the answers they give, but at least they’ve shown they’re willing to do the work it takes to become president. Trump isn’t. He hasn’t shown us that he’s capable of it. I started this column by saying “Poor Donald Trump.” But the folks we should really be feeling sorry for are the American people, who might end up having their country run by someone who can’t be bothered to find out what’s happening in it. Bloomberg


S U N D AY : M A R C H 6 , 2 0 1 6

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NEWS

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AURORA GOV FACES GRAFT COMPLAINT By Ferdie G. Domingo

ECO-MARATHON. Energy efficient vehicles take part in the Asian leg of the annual Shell Eco-Marathon being held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. Students from around the world gather for the competition, which challenges entrants to make the most out of the least energy. The Shell Eco-Marathon runs until March 6, 2016. MANNY PALMERO

BALER, Aurora—The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered Aurora Gov. Gerardo A. Noveras and nine other provincial officials to answer the graft complaints filed against them for the alleged questionable purchase of a heavy equipment three years ago. In two separate orders dated Feb. 16, Ombudsman evaluation and investigation office chief Margie G. Fernandez-Calpatura directed Noveras and the 10 other respondents to file their counter-affidavits in connection with the complaints for violations of Republic Act 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and gross negligence, misconduct in office and irregularity in the performance of duties. Apart from Noveras, also directed to answer the charg-

es were Noveras’ elder brother and executive assistant, Isaias A. Noveras Jr.; provincial administrator Simeon De Castro; provincial legal counsel lawyer Paz Torregosa; provincial general services officer Ricardo Bautista; provincial budget officer Norma Clemente; provincial equipment pool officer Cornelio P. Ancheta; assistant provincial engineer Benedicto Rojo; engineer Alfredo E. Penzon and Joel D. Friginal. The 10 were given 10 days upon receipt of the twin orders to submit their counteraffidavits. The Ombudsman orders were in connection with the nine-page joint complaintaffidavits filed by engineer Amado Elson A. Egargue of Barangay Suklayin and engineer Rodante A. Tolentino of Barangay 5 Poblacion, both of this capital town.

PURISIMA IN FUND DIVERSION RAP By Maricel V. Cruz

THE party-list group Puwersa Ng Bayaning Atleta on Saturday said it would file graft charges against former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the diversion of casino funds intended for sports development. Apart from the filing of graft charges, PBA spokesperson Jericho “Koko” Nograles said that PBA would also push for a deeper congressional probe on how and why Purisima was

able to lay his hands on a fund that is supposed to be used to finance the sports program of the Philippine Sports Commission. “This is quite puzzling because for one Purisima has

nothing to do with sports being the former head of the PNP. What is his legal personality to even represent the PSC that allowed him to secure the sports body’s casino share? There is really something more about this casino fund story,” Nograles said. Nograles said the PBA is now consulting its lawyers and are collecting all the facts needed to build their case against Purisima and his possible cohorts in the reported fund diversion scam that denied hundreds of Filipino athletes the needed support for their training.

PBA is referring to the alleged diversion of close to P1 billion of funds representing the share of the PSC from the earnings of First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp., a casino operator based in Northern Luzon, from January 2012 to June 2015. PSC chairman Richie Garcia said the sports commission did not receive the amount. PBA cited documents showing that the P1-billion PSC fund from First Cagayan Leisure was received by certain “Alan La Madrid Purisima” although he has no official connection with

the sports body. “Who authorized First Cagayan Leisure to direct the funds to Purisima and why?” Nograles asked as he noted that these are the questions that need to be answered if when an investigation is conducted on the casino fund diversion scam. “It’s already bad that the country’s sporting sector has been long suffering from neglect and funding constraints but it’s even worse that the very little funds that are supposed to be for the training of our athletes actually end up in someone else’s

pocket,” Nograles lamented. Nograles added that the claim of Chairman Garcia that PSC has been getting only 2.5 percent from the country’s casino operators should also been looked into. He said the law requires casino operators to remit five percent of its earnings to the sports commission. Nograles said that a congressional investigation on this casino fund diversion issue will be PBA’s first order business in the next Congress as he noted that there is really a need to conduct a full inventory on all sources of funding for Philippine sports development.

ROAD BLASTS HURT 2 COPS; BIFF BLAMED By Francisco Tuyay TWO policemen were wounded in road blasts that sparked fighting between Muslim rebels and government forces in Maguindanao on Friday. The wounded policemen were members of Guindulungan Municipal Police Station. Police were on patrol when an improvised explosive device planted by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters exploded some 10 meters away from the cops’ vehicle at about 9 p.m. Shortly after the first blast, another IED exploded some 25 meters away while BIFF rebels fired their guns and engaged state forces in a firefight which lasted for 40 minutes. The BIFF rebels withdrew in different directions before reinforcement arrived. The wounded policemen were brought to a hospital for treatment. Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said that the attack was a diversionary tactic by the BIFF to divert attention from the military’s ongoing clearing operations in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao, the site of BIFF and military fighting. On Feb. 6, BIFF rebels assaulted a military installation wounding an Army office and triggering an intense fighting. Army Capt. Jimmy Amoloy sustained a bullet wound on his forehead after he and his soldiers engaged the BIFF in a firefight. The rebels earlier burned construction equipment at a government road project in Sitio Dagading in Datu Salibo town.

ARAW NG KABATAAN. The Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) sponsored a multi-competition event which includes chorale, rondalla, drum and lyre, vocal solo, on-the-spot drawing, and occupational and interpretative dance at the Amoranto Sports Complex entitled “22nd Alay ng Rotary sa Araw ng Kabataan” with the theme “Matalinong Kabataan, Pagasa ng Bayan.” The Rotary Club of Kamuning in coordination with the District 3780 of Rotary International, the Quezon City Government and Division of City Schools in Quezon City hosted the annual competition joined by Quezon City’s Elementary and High School public school students, their parents and teachers which aimed to bring out the best in the students and foster sportsmanship, discipline, self-confidence, teamwork and creativity. In photo are (clockwise, L-R) Atty. Peejay Jurado, PP Andy Angulo, VP Rodolfo Tagapan Jr., PP Nesty Isla, PP Boogie Rodrigo, Pres. Siegfred L. Manaois, WCKF volunteer-in-charge Atty. Alex Calderon, PP Arturo Herrera, PP Perry Marasigan, PP Edy Salud, Rotarians Mark Sangco, Albert Pelobello, and WCKF volunteers Sophia Gonzalo, Janet Francisco and Roxanne Roca.


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SUNDAY: MARCH 6, 2016

NEWS editorial@thestandard.com.ph

FORUM PUSHES YOUTH AGENDA By Ronald O. Reyes

DELECTABLE TREAT. Fresh, red and luscious strawberries beckon to Baguio City visitors. DAVID CHAN

ROMUALDEZ POSTS GAINS IN SENATORIAL BET’S POLL

By Maricel V. Cruz

HOUSE Independent Bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez whose advocacy is centered on the return of “malasakit” (compassion) to public service was one of the four gainers in the latest voter preference ratings for senators of Pulse Asia survey. Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association, got a +2.9 percent increase in his rating based on the Feb. 15 to 20 Pulse Asia survey. Romualdez, who ran unopposed in the last polls and a former chair of the House committee on ethics and privileges, is now a bit closer to the so-called ‘Magic 12’ with his 15th to 18th rankings compared to his previous 19th to 20th places. The Leyte opposition leader, a three-term congressman who

is running for the Senate under a platform anchored on compassionate governance, is also one of the most shared senatorial candidates of various presidential bets. Romualdez is a shared senatorial candidate of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who are both running for president. Romualdez has been endorsed by the 40-man Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. and named by stalwarts of the Nationalist People’s

Coalition, the country’s secondlargest political party, as one of the 12 senatorial bets to be endorsed by them. Even former President-turnedManila City Mayor Joseph Estrada had endorsed Romualdez, whose key platform is focus on improving jobs, health, education, agriculture and disaster preparedness. Apart from Romualdez, the three other gainers include former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority DirectorGeneral Sec. Joel Villanueva, Valenzuela City Rep. Win Gatchalian, and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino. Meanwhile, boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao suffered a serious blow after his controversial statements against same-sex marriage and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, with a drop of -12.1 percentage points to 11th to 14th places from his

previous 8th to 10th ranking. The Pulse Asia survey, conducted last Feb. 15-20 with 1,800 respondents, also showed that all other candidates in the winning circle suffered a decline in their ratings even the frontrunner Senator Vicente Sotto III with -5.2 percentage points. The following are the senatorial candidates and the percentage points they lost in their voting preference ratings: former Senator Francis Pangilinan, -11.5 percent, Senator Sergio Osmeña III, -11.1 percent; Edu Manzano, -7.4 percent; Senator Ralph Recto, -6.5 percent; Senate President Franklin Drilon, -6.4 percent, former Senator Miguel Zubiri, -6.4 percent; former Senator Richard Gordon, -6 percent; Mark Lapid, -5.7 percent; Isko Moreno, -5.3 percent; former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, -4.9 percent; Senator Teofisto Guingona III, -4.7 percent; and Bayan Muna party-list Neri Colmenares, -4.3 percent.

US ARMADA ARRIVES IN MANILA AMID SEA TENSION By Florante S. Solmerin THE 7th Fleet of the United States Navy has sent its command and control battle ship to Manila along with a small armada led by a carrier amid China’s alleged militarization in the South China Sea. The USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) docked Friday and would stay until May 8, the US Embassy in Manila said. The USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), the lead ship of the two Blue Ridgeclass command ships of the United States Navy and command ship of the 7th Fleet, arrived for a routine visit, the embassy said. “The ship’s primary role is providing command, control, communication, computers, and intelligent support [C4I] to commander and staff of United States Seventh Fleet.The Blue Ridge was commissioned on Nov. 14, 1970 and its homeport is Yokosuka, Japan,” it said in a statement.

USS Blue Ridge, lead ship of the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet, docks at the North Harbor for a goodwill visit to the Philippines. DANNY PATA

It is the third US Navy ship named after the Blue Ridge Mountains and is the oldest deployable warship in the US Navy. The ship has a crew of 2,200 and has participated in such

operations as Operation Eagle Pull (1975), Frequent Wind (1975), Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Tomodachi, which supported Japan in disaster relief following the 2011 Tōhoku

earthquake and tsunami. According to Captain Lued Lincuna, spokesman of the Philippine Navy, the officers and crew of the C7F (Blue Ridge) has been given a port briefing aboard their ship subjects related to security, intelligence and health. “Delegates of US C7F are set to render a courtesy call on the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Adm. Bayani Gaerlan, and conduct staff-to-staff talks with the members of PN command team. Personnel from LCC-19 and our Navy will also be engaged in a goodwill game of basketball in the duration of the visit,” Lincuna said. “The interaction between the US navy personnel and their Filipino counterparts is a demonstration of fostering commitment to the longstanding alliance between the two nations which promotes peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.

TACLOBAN CITY—At least 74 youth leaders around Eastern Visayas region on Saturday joined a forum to address pressing issues affecting them. “For a youth agenda to be truly effective for the new generation it should come from you. Be the best that you can and achieve your full potential…focusing on your strengths and positive outcomes,” said Jude Acidre, a known youth leader in Eastern Visayas now turned first nominee for Tingog Sinirangan party-list. Dubbed as “Youth Voice Forum: Be heard and take action,” participants in the forum who mostly came from colleges and universities took the occasion to air their concerns and views on topics from life and learning, leadership and politics, health and sexuality, and employment and entrepreneurship. “We are aware of our plight. Eastern Visayas is the poorest region. The youth has a big role. They represent 40 percent of the registered voters in political exercise. We got a big voice,” said Glenn Capucion, the Tingog party president. Eastern Visayas, with its 780,378 youth ages 15-24 based in 2010 census, constitutes 4.3 percent of the country’s total youth population of 18 million. However, it was learned that despite its relatively low share to the national youth population, Eastern Visayas “remains to have a young population with 19.1 percent of its population in ages 15-24.” In a report on socio-economic demographic, health, and lifestyle, the youths in Eastern Visayas, it was revealed that its youths continue to be at risk. “Thirteen percent of the youths are idle, neither studying nor working, the third highest in the country. Two in five of Region VIII youth do not have any source of information about sex. Region VIII youth engage in sex at young ages,” according to a research paper on risk behavior of young people in Eastern Visayas by University of the Philippines Population Institute. Yet on these issues, Acidre proposed on paradigm shift to youths based on their goals. “Total human development should enable young people to be aware of and informed about social, political and economic needs. Provide the youths with meaningful roles in how decision are made. Encourage them to responsibly use their time, energies and skills for the benefit of others, and practice leadership skills to address issues…,” said Acidre, adding that community involvement and collaboration is important to bring out the potentials of young people. “Youth are not beneficiaries. Now youth are partners. We don’t engage the youth just because we can deliver them services. We help them to contribute to society,” he said, believing that “youth flourish in a flourishing community.”


SUNDAY: MARCH 6, 2016

Roderick T. dela Cruz EDITOR business@thestandard.com.ph extrastory2000@gmail.com

BUSINESS

B1

MAPUA STUDENTS DEVELOP MULTI-PURPOSE ‘ROCKETSTOVE’

By Alena Mae S. Flores

A GROUP of students from Mapua Institute of Technology developed ‘Rocketstove’, a woodfired stove that generates electricity and has a water distillation system and charging station. Rocketstove topped the 2015 Sikat Design Challenge, an inter-university competition focused on renewable energy solutions for rural communities, an initiative of Sikat Solar Challenge Foundation Inc. The competition encouraged students to offer proposals and potential solutions to provide communities with reliable renewable energy. Sikat Solar Challenge Foundation attracted these and other solutions from 65 talented students from 12 universities and colleges, after it launched late last year the five-month competition. Dubbed ‘2015 Sikat Design Challenge’, the Sikat Solar Challenge

dared the students to offer the best renewable energy idea or project for practical use in rural areas. Mapua’s winning concept ‘Rocketstove’ also functions as a thermoelectric generator, water distillation system and charging station. The stove is ideal in remote places with no access to electricity and water. Moreover, it comes handy during emergencies and disaster situations, such as typhoons, when water and power services are disrupted. Mapua tried the Rocketstove for a community of Dumagats in

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Mapua students win the 2015 Sikat Design Challenge organized by Sikat Solar Challenge Foundation Inc. Shown are (from left) Prof. Teddy Puttgen, senior director of Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University and chief judge of the competition; Federico Lopez, chairman of SSCFI; Mapua students Jeremy de Leon, Alsus Adiaton, Gabriel Leyson and Norman Quiniquini; Mapua faculty adviser Reidj Cruz; SSCFI president Arthur de Guia; and SSCFI vice president Henry Co.


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BUSINESS business@thestandard.com.ph extrastory2000@gmail.com

SEED COMPANY BLENDS ASIAN, EUROPEAN HERITAGE A SEED company formed by Dutch agriculturist Simon Groot and Filipino trader Benito Domingo in 1982 has become a multi-cultural organization with over 4,000 employees who provide high-quality vegetable seeds to 30 million farmers across the globe.

Initially called Hortigenetics Philippines Inc., the company was renamed East-West Seed Company Inc. as an evidence that a partnership between a European and Asian could succeed. Its goal was to blend European style seedsmanship with Asian tropical vegetables. From its early work in the Philippines, the company expanded to include breeding programs in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, China and other Asian countries. Today, East-West Seed Company distributes high-quality vegetable seeds in about 60 countries worldwide. From Africa to Asia, Australia to America, East-West Seed provides farmers better seeds for better yields. East-West Seed currently leads the ranking of seed companies in two of three indices under the Access to Seeds Index which was published for the first time this year. The index measures and compares the efforts of the world’s leading seed companies to enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers. The index was published by the Access to Seeds Index Foundation, an independent organization funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch government. It aims to improve farmers’ access to a wider array of modern, more productive seed varieties by bridging the gap between seed companies and the smallholder farmer. Improving smallholder farmers’ access to quality seeds is a crucial first step to achieve the goal of feeding the world sustainably. Bill Gates, speaking at a recent forum on innovation, emphasized the importance of agriculture in achieving global prosperity. “Over 70 percent of the poor people in the world are farmers. They have small plots of land, very little information, seeds that are very old, not much credit, and they’re just getting by. The changes in the weather in the future will make things even tougher for them. Every country that has gone to prosperity has raised their agricultural productivity pretty dramatically,” said Gates. It is estimated that by 2050, the world needs 70 percent more food

Improving smallholder farmers’ access to quality seeds is a crucial first step to achieve the goal of feeding the world sustainably. to feed a population of nine billion, in an environment where less water and land is available. The only way to achieve this is by increasing farm productivity, more yield from less land and resources, and a more environmentally sustainable way of producing food. Ido Verhagen, executive director of the Access to Seeds Foundation said: “We recognize that smallholder farmers represent an untapped opportunity to meet the challenge of global food security. Providing them access to quality seeds unlocks their potential to produce more food for the growing global population.” East-West Seed leads the ‘Global Index for Vegetable Seed Companies’ and ‘Regional Index for EasternAfrica’. The index cites East-WestSeed’s commitment to

small holder farmers,which is evident in all aspects of its business, including packaging, distribution, customer service, research and development, knowledge transfer and innovation. According to the report, EastWest Seed prioritizes the needs of smallholder farmers in the development of both local and global crops. East-West Seed chief executive Bert van der Feltz said: “We are grateful to the Access to Seeds Foundation for putting smallholder farmers in the center. The index is an important barometer of the seed industry’s impact on smallholder farmers. They have been the driver of our business since East-West Seed was founded in 1982. It is important to assist them because they are the key to improving

worldwide access to nutritious food, and they contribute to economic growth,” he said. “When we do this, we achieve several goals at the same time: the farmer’s income increases, consumers have access to high quality vegetables, and we build an attractive and profitable seed business,” said van der Felts. East-West Seed’s company mission is to improve the income and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Its unique approach to business includes local breeding which caters to local demand and conditions, resulting in >800 varieties of 37 vegetable crops; local extension workers who train farmers in improved growing techniques in the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tanzania and in several West Afri-

East-West Seed breeds tropical vegetable crops that are adapted to local markets and growing conditions.

can countries; and availability of small seed packages (about $1 per pouch) which are suited to small farmers with less than 2 hectares of land, representing 85 percent of the world’s farm holdings. East-West Seed breeds tropical vegetable crops that are adapted to local markets and growing conditions. The index ranks individual companies on their efforts to enhance access to seeds. East-West Seed outperforms all other companies in five measurement areas: public policy and stakeholder engagement, research and development, marketing and sales, capacity building and local seed sector advancement. East-West Seed introduced market-oriented plant breeding in Southeast Asia in 1982 by focusing on local markets and local needs. Today, East-West Seed is the leader for tropical vegetable seeds in Asia and beyond. It holds leading market positions in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It has also expanded its business activities in India, Vietnam, China, Latin America and Africa. East-West seeds are planted in the fields of 30 million farmers worldwide. It produces and markets a wide portfolio of hybrid and open-pollinated seeds. The seeds are produced on over 6,000 hectares of land in Thailand, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, employing 12,000 contract growers producing 3.8 million kilograms of seeds.


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BUSINESS business@thestandard.com.ph extrastory2000@gmail.com

MOBILE MALWARE THREATS RISE THREE TIMES THE volume of malware targeting users of mobile devices grew more than three times in 2015, compared to 2014. The most dangerous threats in 2015 were ransomware, or malware capable of obtaining unlimited rights on an infected device, and data stealers, including financial malware. These are main findings of the annual Mobile Virusology report prepared by the Kaspersky Lab Anti-malware Research group. In 2015, some 884,774 new malicious programs were detected by Kaspersky Lab, a three-fold increase from 295, 539 in 2014. The number of new mobile banking Trojans decreased to 7,030 from 16, 586 in 2014. The report said 94,344 unique users were attacked by mobile ransomware, a five-fold increase from 2014’s 18, 478. Ransomware is on the rise, with 2015 described as the year of ransomware. Once a device is infected with this type of malware, the malicious app blocks the device with a popup window carrying a message that the user has committed illegal actions. In order to unlock the device, the user has to pay a ransom ranging between $12 and $100. The number of users of Kaspersky Lab mobile products attacked by ransomware increased from 1.1 percent to 3.8 percent between 2014 and

MAPUA...

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Norzagaray, Bulacan, a remote area that is part of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Sikat Solar Challenge chairman Federico Lopez was impressed by the proposals from the students. “It’s very heartening to see all the innovative ideas being presented here. From solar power solutions to scalable hydro plants, all these ideas prove that innovation and creativity are alive and well in our youth,” Lopez said. “It’s this spirit of curiosity and creativity that allowed you to take existing clean, low-carbon power generation technologies and explore new and practical ways to apply them for the benefit of more Filipinos who reside in areas that are still wanting of the basics in life,” Lopez said. Lopez, who is also chairman and chief executive of First Philippine Holdings, First Gen Corp. and Energy Development Corp., also explained why the Lopez Group of companies actively supported SSCFI and the competition. “We at the First Philippine Holdings [or FPH] Group are proud to support the Sikat Design Challenge. Together with our own power generation subsidiaries, First Gen Corp. and Energy Development Corp., we share in the belief of harnessing the power of clean and renewable energy to uplift the lives of the Filipino people. We certainly look forward to seeing the seeds we’re sowing today bear fruit,” Lopez said. Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University earned runner-up honors with their entries dubbed ‘Tanglaw’ and ‘Project FLOWe+’, respectively. Mapua won a P200,000 cash prize, while the two runner-ups each received a cash prize of P150,000.

2015. Attacks were registered in 156 counties, with Russia, Germany and Kazakhstan the most hit. The Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Small malware and its modification, Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Small.o were the most active in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Small.o was the most widespread of all mobile ransomware detected by Kaspersky Lab last year. The number of ransomware app modifications increased by 3.5 times, proof that fraudsters are seeing ever more advantage in earning money from users via blackmail. 2016 is likely to see an increase in the complexity of the malware and its modifications, with more DLSU’s ‘Project FLOWe+’ is a scalable micro-hydroelectric power plant integrated into so-called “aquaponics”, a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics (growing crops not in soil but in water). Under DLSU’s proposed solution, water assumes several functions. It flows to a micro-hydroelectric power plant and then to an aquaculture farm. Water and effluents from the aquaculture farm will then provide nutrition to the aquaponics farm. ADMU’s ‘Tanglaw’ aims to give a livelihood support and lighting solution to communities through a barter system. For the residents to have lights in their homes, they will collect forest waste, like leaves, tree pruning and coconut husks, which they turn over to the cooperatives. In turn, the cooperatives will produce the briquettes for sale in the markets. Money earned from this will be used to buy materials for the pico hydroelectric generator. The cooperatives will also set up the pico generators using recycled parts. Sikat Solar Challenge launched the competition—the first of a regular annual tilt—as a part of its advocacy to promote the development and use of clean and renewable energy sources. The foundation is the same group that organized support for the country’s solar-powered racing car entries in the biennial World Solar Challenge in Australia. The SSCFI entries were Sinag, Sikat 1 and Sikat 2. First Gen, along with subsidiary EDC and Lopez Group parent company First Philippine Holdings, supports the 2015 Sikat Design Challenge. First Gen, one of the country’s biggest power producers, maintains a balanced portfolio of power plants, including those running on

geographies targeted. Nearly half of the top 20 Trojans in 2015 were malicious programs displaying intrusive advertising on mobile devices. The most widespread last year were the Fadeb, Leech, Rootnik, Gorpro and Ztorg Trojans. Fraudsters used every available method to propagate these Trojans, through malicious web-banners, fake games and other legitimate apps published in official applications stores. In some cases they were positioned as legitimate software preinstalled by the device vendor. Some of these apps have the ability to gain super-user access rights

or root access. Such rights give attackers an almost unlimited ability to modify information stored on an attacked device. If the installation is successful the malware becomes almost impossible to delete, even after a reboot to factory settings. Mobile malware with the ability to gain root access has been known about since 2011, and last year it was extremely popular among cyber-criminals. This is likely to continue in 2016. Banking Trojans are becoming more and more complex, despite a decrease in the number of modifications. The mechanics of these mali-

cious apps is the same as before: after getting into a clients’ system/device, the malware overlays a bank’s legitimate pages or online payment apps with fake ones. However, the scale on which such malware could be utilized grew significantly in 2015. Now cyber-criminals can attack clients of dozens of banks located in different countries using only one type of malware, while previously they would have used malicious apps that could only attack one or two financial services organizations in just a few countries. An example of a malicious application with multiple targets is the Acecard Trojan, which has tools for attacks against users of several dozen banks and web-services. “As mobile devices become more and more functional, cybercriminals have become more and more sophisticated at attacks that attempt to steal money from users. Last year was the year of banking Trojans and ransomware. Adware was widely used to infect devices with more sophisticated malicious programs,” said Roman Unuchek, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab USA. “We also witnessed growing interest in malware that can gain super-user access on users’ devices. To stay safe do not neglect reliable mobile anti-virus solutions. Bear in mind that prevention of the threat is better than suffering losses after the infection,” Unuchek said.

Co, Sikat Solar Challenge vice president. Participants came from 12 schools, seven of them from Luzon. Aside from the three winners, the Luzon entries were from Batangas State University, Bulacan State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas. The five other participating schools are from the Visayas. These are Foundation University, Negros Oriental State University, Silliman University, Saint Paul University and University of San Carlos. Aside from the grand prize winner and two runners-up, three others made it to the finals. These are BulSU, Sili-

man University and UST. On top of the prize money, the grand prize winner also earns a trip to EDC’s hybrid solar and wind farm in Ilocos Norte. Located in the town of Burgos, EDC’s wind farm is the largest in the country with a 150-megawatt installed capacity. “The three top entries will likewise have the opportunity to further develop their product or service and conduct pilot testing as appropriate,” said Aloysius L. Santos, executive director of SSCFI and First Gen vice president. “Depending on resources needed, the SSCFI may provide additional support or guidance for the winning teams.”

Mapua’s Rocketstove renewable energy sources, such as hydro, geothermal, wind and solar mainly through EDC. All three are Lopez Group companies. As part of the five-month competition, participating students tested their respective solutions in poor rural areas not served by the main power grids of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. DLSU tested Project FLOWe+ in Sitio Apia, a hamlet up in the mountains of Antipolo, Rizal, inhabited by 300 poor families. “SSCFI launched the competition as it focuses its attention on how RE solutions can uplift lives in rural communities, especially those living without electricity,” said Henry


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world

Us sLams tUrKEY on nEwspapEr taKEoVEr THE United States urged Turkey to respect democratic values Friday after judges took over a major daily newspaper that had criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The State Department said the action against the Zaman newspaper was one of several worrisome moves recently by its NATO ally, and urged Ankara to respect press freedom. “We see this as the latest in a series of troubling judicial and law enforcement actions taken by the Turkish government targeting media outlets and others critical of it,” spokesman John Kirby said. “We urge Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold the universal democratic values enshrined in their own constitution, including freedom of speech and especially freedom of the press.” The court ordered Zaman—seen as closely linked to Erdogan’s arch-foe the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen—into administration at the request of Istanbul prosecutors, the Anatolia state news agency said. The move means the court will appoint new managers to run the newspaper, who will be expected to transform its editorial line. AFP

chinese president Xi Jinping (c) and premier Li Keqiang (L) are applauded as they arrive for the opening session of the national people’s congress in the great hall of the people in beijing on march 5, 2016. china’s communist-controlled parliament opened its annual session on march 5 and is expected to approve a new five-year plan to tackle slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy. AFP

Beijing raTcheTs up warnings on Taiwan

Beijing stepped up its rhetoric against Taiwanese independence on Saturday, with Premier Li Keqiang warning against “separatist activities” on the island and pledging to safeguard China’s “territorial integrity.” Li’s comments at the opening of the mainland’s National People’s Congress (NPC) parliament came weeks after Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the Beijing-sceptic Democratic People’s Party, was elected Taiwan’s next president. Beijing will “oppose separatist activities for the independence of Taiwan” and “safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Li told the Communist-controlled legislature.

Both clauses were additions to the remarks he made on the issue at last year’s NPC, when the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang of current leader Ma Ying-jeou was still hoping to retain power in Taipei. China and Taiwan split in 1949 after a civil war but Beijing still considers the self-ruled island part of its territory awaiting reunification, and has an estimated 1,500 missiles aimed at stopping Taiwan from declaring independence.

Beijing has repeatedly asserted its belief in the “1992 consensus”, which says that there is only “one China”, despite allowing Taiwan to make its own interpretation. But the DPP—which does not recognise either the “one China” principle or the “consensus”— triumphed in the island’s January parliamentary and presidential elections as voters turned their backs on closer ties with the mainland. Li Keqiang spoke Saturday of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait as “fellow compatriots” belonging to “one and the same family” sharing a “common destiny.”

The phrasing echoed President Xi Jinping’s rhetoric from last November, when the leaders of China and Taiwan reached across decades of Cold War-era estrangement and rivalry to exchange a historic handshake in the first summit since the two sides split. “We are brothers connected by flesh even if our bones are broken. We are a family whose blood is thicker than water,” Xi said then. Tsai will take office in May, and though she has radically toned down her party’s traditionally pro-independence platform, analysts agree a deterioration of ties is inevitable. AFP

EU chiEf UpbEat, sEEs first consEnsUs on migrant crisis EU president Donald Tusk struck an unusually upbeat note on the migrant crisis Friday as Turkey raised the possibility of taking back non-Syrian asylum seekers. Wrapping up a whirlwind diplomatic tour with a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tusk predicted an agreement to shut down the Western Balkans route that most refugees and migrants have taken into the European Union. His prediction ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels on Monday came as new official figures showed that

a record 1.2 million asylum seekers arrived in the EU in 2015—more than double the figure from the year before. “For the first time since the beginning of the migration crisis, I can see a European consensus emerging,” Tusk said in an invitation letter to leaders ahead the summit, which will include Turkey. He warned success depended largely on securing Turkey’s agreement at the summit for the “large-scale” deportation from Greece of economic migrants who do not qualify as refugees and the curbing of the flow of

new arrivals. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his government was mulling the possibility of taking back asylum seekers from countries other than Syria. “We have started looking at the possibility of readmitting asylum seekers, notably from Morocco, Pakistan or Afghanistan,” he said in a joint press conference in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. “We already have readmission agreements with Greece, Bulgaria and other countries and we are preparing to sign others.” AFP

a child cries as migrants wait to cross the greek-macedonian border near the town of gevgelija. greek prime minister alexis tsipras said his country can’t stop migrants who want to head to northern Europe, and sharply criticised balkan countries for shutting their borders. AFP


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WORLD editorial@thestandard.com.ph

World leaders hail ‘progress’ in syria World leaders hailed “real progress” in Syria on Friday, but fresh air strikes showed the fragility of the week-old truce as the opposition cast doubt on its attendance at talks next week in Geneva.

Warplanes struck a key rebel bastion east of the Syrian capital for the first time since the US-Russia brokered truce—which excludes the fight against jihadists—began last weekend, a monitor said. “Two air strikes hit the edge of the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta and one person was killed,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said either Syrian or Russian planes carried out the strikes. Eastern Ghouta had been regularly bombarded by government forces, but has been relatively calm since the ceasefire came into force, which has also allowed the United Nations began delivering aid to three rebel towns in the area. British, French, German and EU foreign ministers met in Paris to discuss the truce, saying there had been “real progress”. “This cessation of hostilities is by no means perfect but it has reduced the level of violence, it has created an opportunity for some humanitarian access,” said British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Protesters in opposition-held areas—buoyed by the ceasefire —also took to the streets for the first time in years to demonstrate against the regime under the slogan “The Revolution Continues!” Waving the three-starred tricolour flag that has become the uprising’s emblem, demonstrators in opposition-held areas of Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa and Homs called for Assad’s downfall.

britain’s Foreign Minister philip hammond (right) and germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter steinmeier (2nd from right) attend a meeting focused on syria situation with France’s Foreign minister Jean-Marc ayrault (l) on March 4, 2016 at the Foreign affairs ministry in paris. AFP

Late Friday, a group of rebel fighters seized control of a crossing on the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The border point at Al-Tanaf, which is controlled on the Iraqi side by the Islamic State group. The quartet of foreign ministers said the focus now was on convincing all parties to return to UNbrokered peace talks in Switzerland tentatively set for next Wednesday. “We want a speedy resumption of the negotiations in Geneva, but two conditions must be fulfilled: access for all Syrians to humanitarian aid, and full respect of the ceasefire,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. But Riad Hijab, head of Syria’s main opposition body, the High Negotiations Committee, said the opposition had not yet decided whether it would come to the talks. Citing continued sieges and the fact that thousands still languish in

regime jails, Hijab said President Bashar al-Assad would have “no place” in a political transition because he has “blood on his hands”. Speaking by phone on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov agreed on the need for a return to the negotiating table. “The two sides called for a speedy start to negotiations in Geneva between the Syrian government and the opposition under the UN’s auspices,” a Russian foreign ministry statement said. Turkish armed forces launched new artillery strikes on positions of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Russia however accused Turkey of continuing to bombard Kurdish positions and allowing jihadist groups to receive weapons across its border, putting “the ceasefire in danger”, the Russian defence min-

istry said in a statement. World leaders expressed a sharp difference of opinion over Assad’s plans to hold elections next month —way ahead of a roadmap agreed in November. “The idea that there could be elections (in April) is not just provocative but totally unrealistic,” said French President Francois Hollande. But Assad’s key backer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, shot back that the plan for elections “does not interfere with steps to build the peace process”. The UN envoy on the crisis, Staffan de Mistura, said that whatever the timetable, it had to be Syrians who decided their president’s fate, not outsiders. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said tens of thousands of displaced Syrians along Turkey’s border have not returned home despite the truce. AFP

More than 60 hurt as boat engine explodes MORE than 60 people were hospitalized Saturday, mostly for burns, after the engine on a Bangkok commuter boat burst into flames and sent passengers leaping to a nearby pier, officials said. The crowded boat was ferrying passengers through a major canal in the eastern outskirts of the Thai capital, which boasts an extensive network of waterways that teem with motorised commuter boats during rush hour. Most of the 65 injured were later released from the hospital, while 19 were still receiving treatment, according to the city’s Erawan emergency medical center. The centre said three foreigners— two Myanmar nationals and one Japanese—were among those injured in the accident. Bangkok’s police commissioner Sanit Mahathavorn said two passengers were seriously hurt by flying debris from the explosion, which rocked the wooden boat but largely left its hull intact. “Most of the injured passengers are suffering from burns,” he told reporters from Wat Thepleela pier, where the accident took place shortly after dawn. An initial police investigation suggested the combustion was caused by a fuel leak onboard. “We found that gas leaked at the boat’s rear and caused an explosion in its engine,” the officer said. Security footage showed the back of the boat erupt into flames just as it was docking, sending a storm of passengers scrambling towards the concrete pier. Witnesses interviewed on Channel 3 said others panicked and leapt into the canal’s murky waters. AFP

pope shocked by ‘diabolical’ attack on yeMen care hoMe POPE Francis has slammed as “diabolical” an attack on an elderly care home in Yemen which killed at least 16 people, including four nuns, the Vatican said Saturday. “His Holiness Pope Francis was shocked and profoundly saddened to learn of the killing of four Missionaries of Charity and 12 others at a home for the elderly in Aden,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said. “He sends the assurance of his prayers for the dead and his spiritual closeness to their families and to all affected from this act of senseless and diabolical violence,” Cardinal Parolin said in a statement. Four gunmen stormed the fa-

cility housing dozens in Aden’s Sheikh Othman district on Friday, killing a guard before tying up and shooting employees, security officials told AFP. Screams of elderly residents echoed from the home during the shooting rampage, witnesses said. Among the dead were four Indian nurses, while the rest of those killed were Yemenis. The Argentine pontiff “prays that this pointless slaughter will awaken consciences, lead to a change of heart, and inspire all parties to lay down their arms and take up the path of dialogue,” Parolin said. “He calls upon all parties in the present conflict to renounce violence, and to renew their

commitment to the people of Yemen, particularly those most in need, whom the sisters and their helpers sought to serve,” he added. No group claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, the first of its kind in Yemen, where the internationally-recognised government is grappling with an Iranbacked rebellion on one side and a growing jihadist presence on the other. One official said the attackers were “extremists” and blamed the Islamic State group, which has been gaining ground in Aden in recent months. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council backing the Yemeni government “strongly” con-

pope Francis looks on during a penitential ceremony on March 4, 2016 at st peter’s basilica in Vatican city. AFP

demned the attack which it said “reveals the goals of forces which are against the return of security and stability to Yemen”. President Abedrabbo Mansour

Hadi has declared Aden Yemen’s temporary capital as Sanaa remains in the hands of the Huthi rebels and their allies since they seized it in September 2014. AFP


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riera mall ari EDITOR

SPORTS sports@thestandard.com.ph

Centennial iii dediCates ViCtory to sailing student

Members of the Philippine Junior Volcanoes display their medals.

Junior Volcanoes win in Bangkok THE Philippine Junior Volcanoes u14s and u16s National Teams travelled to play in the Bangkok Asian Juniors’ championships against regional teams from Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. The National u14 and u16 teams were se- with his first u16 championship. lected from the Philippine Schools League, “Defense wins championships and the which was played from December until Feb- Junior Volcanoes proved this by only conruary and then the National Teams trained ceding 2 tries in 6 game over the weekend,” for the International Tour to Thailand. said Retzlaff. In their debut tournament, the Junior The Junior Volcano u14s team were equalVolcanoes proved they can match up with ly impressive and with a team of 12 and 13 the best teams in South East Asia with the year players they met Thailand in the Plate u16s team winning the Cup Division cham- Final and ran out winners by 19 – 10 with pionships by defeating Malaysia in the final, 3–0. The Junior Volcano u16s team won all their round games and entered the final against a strong Malaysian team, which they had narrowly beaten, 5–0, when they met in the round stages. The final game was an arm wrestle, with both underage age teams throwing everything into the defense and the game hung in the balance. Finally, the Philippines was awarded a penalty and Josh Aho stormed onto the ball and dragged four Malaysian players with him over 15 meters and won a penalty in front of the posts. When the game finished, it was Reed Santos from the CBRE Maverick’s club, who landed the penalty goal in extra time to award the team the Asian u16 championship. Team coach Paul Retzlaff could not be more pleased the Philippine Junior Volcanoes in action

Keanu Faynot scoring two tries and Rand Santos kicking 3 conversions. The u14s ended the weekend with 4 wins, 1 lose and 1 draw and they will return next year confident of defending their title. The PRFU Director of Rugby Matt Cullen was very impressed with the National u14s and u16s results. “Both the National u14 and u16 showed they can match it with the best teams in South East Asia with the u16s winning the Cup and the u14s winning the plate at the Asian Junior Championships. This was our first time to play in this tournament and we have certainly left a mark by winning in both divisions on out first attempt,” said Cullen.

BORACAY—The country’s sail master Judes Echauz, who skippered Centennial III, dedicated their triumph in the seventh Standard Insurance Boracay Regatta Race to a 14-year-old high school student, who drowned during practice in Manila Bay last week. Echauz’s TP 52 Davidson Centennial III became back-to-back champion after the three-man international juries ruled in favored of their protest against Hong Kong’s Freefire, helmed by Sam Chan. Last year, Centennial’s 16-man crew defeated Hong Kong’s elite yachtsman Frank Pong’s Jelik, a Richel/Pugh 75. Jelik pulled out in the first of IRC I race last Tuesday after sailing with a broken running back. Jelik did not compete anymore until the sixth race and placed last in the four-day regatta race organized by the Philippine Sailing Association, Subic Yacht Club and backed by Cebu Pacific, Tanduay Rum, Seawind Hotel, The Lighthouse Marina Resort, PLDT SME, and Philippine Coast Guard. Centennial III, which placed second in the Subic Bay to Boracay Race, recovered and won Races 2, 3 and 6, nosing out Karakoa, skippered by veteran local sailor Ray Ordoveza. Freefire, whose protest in the fourth race against Centennial III was dropped by the international juries that day, placed third in IRC I class. In IRC Class II, Black Baza manned by Steve Manning, is this year’s champion, while Centennial II, skippered by a local sailor placed second. Regular campaigner EFG Mandrake helmed by Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth was third place. Vineta, skippered by Helmut Hennig, is the champion in the Cruising Class, defeating eventual runner-up Bella Uno of Michiel Brinkers. On the other hand, Mermaid of Hong Kong’s Xiong Ting, took third. In his speech during the awards night, Echauz dedicated their triumph to teenager Clarence John Sanchez, an Araullo High School seventh grader, who drowned last week. Sanchez, who wanted to become a sailor, was practicing with a 12-man training pool in Parola, Tondo, Manila, when he drowned last Feb. 28. His teammates tried to revive him, but failed. Sanchez’s parents dropped the case against sailing national coach Felipe Mosquera, who recruited Sanchez a day before. Mosquera pleaded for forgiveness to the teenager’s parents for what happened to their son, saying that “it was beyond comprehension that the father did not know what his son was doing.”


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SPORTS

ARMAN ARMERO EDITOR

sports@thestandard.com.ph

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BAP Region IV A&B officials pose with participating referees and table officials at the start of the BAP Convention 2016 held at Barangay Pooc Multi-Purpose Gym in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. They are (from left) Richard Villanueva, clinician International referee (FIBA) BAP, Region IV A&B, Prof. Daniel Fabello, BAP Provincial Director Romblon; former national coach and NCAA Commissioner Arturo ‘Bai’ Cristobal, Leonardo ‘Ding’ Andres Chairman BAP Region IV A&B; Atty. Joanne Marie Fabella Legal Counsel, Dr. Robert Milton Calo, president, McRoberts Sports Academy; Meneles Viray, BAP Provincial Director of Palawan and Noel Castro, BAP Provincial Director Batangas. Below, Andres delivers the opening remarks for the confab. HENRY VARGAS

BAP SPREADS ITS WINGS By Arman Armero

THE Basketball Association of the Philippines, is alive, kicking, and spreading its wings. Last Friday, officials and stakeholders of the BAP Region IV A & B, comprising the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) areas, held its 4th BAP Convention at Bgy. Pooc Basketball Court in Santa Rosa, Laguna. The event is aimed to further sharpen the skills of the referees and table officials, not only in basketball but also in volleyball. Among the officials present during the event’s

opening rites were Region IV A&B Chairman Leonardo “Ding” Andres, Prof. Daniel Fabello, BAP Provincial Director in Romblon, Meneles Viray, BAP Provincial Director of Palawan and Noel Castro, BAP Provincial Director of Batangas. Also present were the invited clinician and lecturers Fiba international referee Richard Villanueva and former national coach and NCAA Commissioner Arturo “Bai” Cristobal for basketball and Prof. Robert Milton Calo, who will facilitate and conduct the seminar for officiating

in volleyball. Pooc Bgy, Captain Levino Caramay was represented by former Bgy. Chairman Sergio Caramay, while also present was the lone lady in the group, the BAP Region IV A&B Legal Counsel Atty. Joanne Marie Fabella. Castro, who acted as emcee and moderator, aptly described the sentiment of the group with an impassioned speech on the group’s loyalty to the BAP, one of the oldest sports association at 80 years old. He vowed to remain loyal to the BAP until the end, a statement echoed by other officials. Last year, the BAP Region IV A&B reached a milestone when, through Ding Andres’ efforts, it was registered as a legal en-

tity with the Security and Exchange Commission. Andres said this was done so as to preserve the gains that were accomplished by the BAP in the

region, and to protect its rights and status as a sports organization. The convention will be a three-day affair and will officially end today, with

the participants hoping to gain more knowledge and technical skills in their chosen craft when they go back to their respective areas and provinces.

FREDDIE ROACH CELEBRATES MILESTONES By Eddie G. Alinea HALL of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach turned 56 years old Saturday in General Santos City in Mindanao, 10,000 miles away from the city he now calls home—Los Angeles in California. Born March 5, 1960 in Massachusetts, Roach is actually celebrating several milestones in his colorfully decorated life, one of which is the 15th year anniversary of his partnership with Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao whom he transformed from an obscure one-dimensional left-handed fighter into a global ring icon. This year also marks Roach’s 27th year as a trainer, a profession he had adopted following a so-so fighting career and 13th year since earning the first of

the seven Trainer of the Year honors bestowed upon him by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Year 2016 is, likewise, the fourth year that Roach, an alternate in the United States’ 1976 Melbourne Olymic team, was enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Canasota, New York in 2012, a week before manning Pacquiao’s corner in the Philippine pride’s first meeting with then unbeaten American Timothy Bradley. Roach, known also as “La Cucaracha” or “Choir Boy” in boxing circle, is presently in General Santos City supervising Pacquiao’s preparation s the third chapter of his and Bradley’s trilogy scheduled April 9 in the U.S.’ vice city of Las Vegas.

Freddie Roach

This year, the world famous maestro is also observing the 24th anniversary of the Wild Card Gym, a boxing sweat shop located at the heart of Hollywood which he built in 1992 against the advice of friends and relatives, including his teacher, the equally great

fighting maestro Eddie Futch. Roach fondly remembers these milestones last week, following one of the fighting Sarangani Congressman’s workou—defying Futch advice to construct his own gym and taking Pacquiao under his wing—which he said had created a great impact on his life and drastically changed his fortunes. The biggest change in his life, Roach recalled, came in early 2001 when the Filipino knocked on his Wild Card Gym’s door looking for a place to train. In an earlier interviewm Roach said that he wanted to build the Wild Card Gym was because of his hope that someday, somebody, “who can be the next Muhammad Ali, will walk through that door.” True enough, Manny walked

in 10 years after construction of the gym was completed. The rest as they say, was history. Pacquiao owns a record of 32-2 win-loss when his partnership with Roach began. Their tandem immediatey produced the first of 10 title conquests in eight weight divisions the Filipino was to rack up in the years to come. Already the World Boxing Council flyweight champion when he came under Roach’s tutelage, Pacquiao added the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight diadem in his first title fight under his new trainer. Before losing three of his previous six bouts, Pacquiao had already won titles in the 126, 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pounds, the only man on earth to have accomplished the feat.


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REUEL VIDAL EDITOR sports@thestandard.com.ph

SPORTS

JrNBA SHINES

SPOTLIGHT ON BEST BASKETBALL PLAYERS DOWN SOUTH By Reuel Vidal

THE Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA Philippines flew down south to the Fruit Basket of the Philippines Davao City to find the best young basketball players in Mindanao during the Regional Selection Camp at the Ateneo De Davao University home of the Blue Knights last weekend. Seven boys and four girls were selected from 543 participants, who came from all over the southern-most island group in the Philippines, to advance to the 2016 National Training Camp. The girls are Aloha Marie Betanio, 12, of Malaybalay City Central School; Rozie Amatong, 11, of Modern International Learning Center;

Kate Buenaventura, 13, of Ateneo de Davao and Marcila Grace Dellosa, 14, of F. Bangoy National High School. The boys include Lance Centeno, 13, of Ateneo de Davao; Tryon Limar Langala, 14, of St. Mary’s School; Anscar Mamac, 14, of Holy Child College of Davao; Rysan Villasenta, 13, of Holy Child College of Davao;

The four girls who qualified to the National Training Camp in Manila proudly hold up the basketballs they won as qualifiers. The girls are, from left: Aloha Marie Betanio, Rozie Amatong, Kate Buenaventura and Marcilla Grace Dellosa.

Joven Neil Deligero, 13, of Daniel R. Aguinal- d o National High School; Alfonso Luis Candari, 13, of Ateneo de Davao; and Louis Andre Joring, 13, of St. Mary’s School. Amatong, who displayed not just extraordinary dribbling skills but also a smooth stroke all the way out from three-point distance, was easily the standout. She inherited her love for the game from her father who was a player in his youth. The elder Amatong said her daughter started dribbling a ball when she was just three years old and has never stopped. Amatong was the youngest qualifier to the National Training Camp last year. This is her second chance to make the All-Star squad. She idolizes Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and practices most of the NBA star’s moves. She is a true student athlete who will likely become valedictorian when she graduates from elementary school. The players selected exemplified the Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA core values of sportsmanship, teamwork, positive attitude and respect throughout the camp. The eleven young players will represent Mindanao in the Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA Philippines National Training Camp in Manila this April. They join the top players from the other regional selection camps from north and south Luzon and the Visayas as they compete to be named

A young boy displays his dribbling skills as he competes at one of the skills stations of the 2016 Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA Philippines Regional Selection Camp. Seven boys and four girls were chosen at the camp held last weekend at the Ateneo De Davao University Matina Campus.

the 2016 Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA Philippines All-Star squad. Ten boys and five girls will be named to the Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA All-Star squad. They will enjoy the experience of a lifetime as they travel to an Asian destination to watch an actual NBA game, meet NBA players and play against fellow all-stars from Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. The next Regional Selection Camps will be in Cebu (March 5-6) and Metro Manila (April 9-10). Fifty boys and 24 girls from the camps will advance to the National Training Camp in Manila on April 22-24— where 10 boys, five girls and two coaches—will be named to the all-star teams. The 2016 Alaska JrNBA and JrWNBA is not just

Former professional basketball player John Ramirez (front), a member of the camp coaching staff, leads the exercise to strengthen the core muscles during the Regional Selection Camp.

searching for the best basketball players, it also challenges and inspires children to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life. It is free and open to boys and girls born 2002 to 2006. For general information about JrNBA and JrWNBA

Presented by Alaska please visit www.jrnba.asia/philippines, www.alaskamilk.com, and www.alaskapowercamp. com/basketball. For live updates log on to www.playph. com or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ playph #jrnba #jrwnba.

GALANZA KEEPS ADAMSON LADY FALCONS COMPETITIVE By Peter Atencio WITH Jessica Galanza around, the Adamson Lady Falcons should not be counted out of the race for a semifinal slot in the ongoing 78th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament. This year’s UAAP volleyball tournament is more competitive than ever before. Ateneo De Manila University (6 wins, 1 loss), with the unstoppable Alyssa Valdez, leads the standings. Trailing closely are De La Salle University (5-2), Far Eastern University (4-3) and surprising University of the Philippines (4-3). The Lady Falcons (3 wins, 4 losses) are just a game out of the Final Four and it’s mainly because of Galanza’s

brilliant all around play. A consistent game and very accurate spikes made Galanza one of the most productive spikers this season. The unheralded Galanza is actually at par with Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez in production with 103 points. She caught up with Valdez after the Lady Falcons needed five sets to finish off the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 21-25, 17-25, 25-15, 25-23, 15-10, last Wednesday. Their second win in four games allowed the Lady Falcons to make up for a four-game slump, and finally Adamson Lady Falcons spiker Jessica focus on their goals, which is to reach Galanza (right) smashes the volleyball through University of Santo Tomas the semis. “Utak at puso ang kailangan sa defenders. PETER ATENCIO game. Kapag iniisip mo ang pagod, talagang mapapagod ka,” said Galan- Lady Falcons. Adamson turned to Galanza for za, who is in her junior year with the

leadership following the departure of Bang Pineda and Amanda Villanueva. Galanza showed her mettle when the Lady Falcons pulled off a thrilling 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 28-30, 16-14 win over University of Santo Tomas to start their campaign three weeks ago. The 19-year-old Galanza, known as a hard-hitting spiker, came up with 28 points, scattered from 25 attacks and three service aces. She also helped at the defensive end with 10 digs. Valdez lost ground to Galanza after coming up with just 10 points when the Ateneo Lay Eagles prevailed over University of the East, 25-12, 25-10, 25-10, also last Wednesday. Toni Rose Basas of FEU is the third most prolific spiker in the league with

100 points. Against Adamson, Basas was good for 20 points. Sophomore May Roque stepped up and helped Galanza in scoring against FEU. Roque, an 18-year-old open hitter, scored a career-high 23 points to help the Lady Falcons. The Lady Falcons trailed after losing the first two frames. But, Roque, along with Galanza and Mylene Paat rallied the Lady Falcons who took the next sets including the speedscoring fifth. Adamson coach Sherwin Meneses said Galanza’s all-around game has given the team confidence. “Pinag-aralan talaga namin variations ng palo at hindi na lang lagi cross court, kasi ngayon siguro nagmature na rin ako sa laro ko,” said Galanza.


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TATUm ANchETA EDITOR

BING PArEL

A S S O C I AT E E D I T O R

BErNADETTE LUNAS

life @ thestandard.com .ph

WRITER

@LIfEatStandard

S U NDAY L If E

LIFE Musical Collage at Teatro Marikina

Teacher Charity and her kids after a successful performance at the 12th Coro Cantabile Choir Festival

ThE SOunD Of ChARIS

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how A YoUNG voIcE coAch IS INSTILLING LovE for mUSIc AmoNG SchooLchILDrEN

n a small private school in Marikina, intermittent laughter from happy young voices would erupt in one room. In front is a slightly built young woman, her hands clasped while she goes through vocal exercises, her clear voice ringing as she warbles “mi-i-i-i-yo-ho-ho” as she demonstrates to her young students how it is done. It’s a pretty typical afternoon for Teacher Charity Andres, the music teacher and vocal coach of Charis School, a progressive Christian educational institution that’s developing a reputation not only for academic excellence but for its music school as well. “I grew up in the ministry because my father is a pastor,” she begins, adding that she practically grew up in church – which should explain why her love for music was developed early on. Following her graduation from the Capitol Hills Christian School, she pursued a Bachelor of Christian Education at the Center for Biblical Studies Institute and Seminary in Antipolo where she also finished a four-year Music education degree. “I worked as a Christian education and music director after my graduation in 2008,” shares Teacher Charity, joining missions in some provinces in the north to share her knowledge and help train church choir members. During the church mission to the province of Apayao, the young teacher trained and formed a gospel singing team, where she found herself rehearsing both children and young adults for musical performances, in the process also helping develop an ensemble of lyre, bamboo flute and guitar to complement the choir group. In Cagayan during a Gospel Mission Bible School, the young teacher coached youth campers to perform solos, trios and group performances during their music camp, gratified by the knowledge that she was imparting her knowledge and sharing her God-given talent to young people. Asked how she landed in Charis School, she laughs. “It was perhaps serendipitous,” she says in the vernacular. “I initially applied

The Charis Glee Club is composed of 25 selected students who love to share their talent in singing

The chorale group members proudly display their certificate of recognition during the Coro Cantabile music fest

Charis voice coach Charity Andres

to be a private music tutor for the school’s music extension class but ended up handling regular music classes for the school because they needed a music teacher at the time,” she discloses, adding that the job offer came immediately after she held a demonstration. “I was challenged,” she admits, knowing that she could make

With Senator Sonny Angara before the opening of a Senate session

a difference and enhance the wealth of talent that she saw in the students, wanting to share with them the exhilaration that goes with performing in front of a big audience. And she should know, being a member of Coro Cantabile founded by UP Madrigal Singers alumni and conductor Sharon Abesamis,

where as Soprano 1 and soloist, Charity had the opportunity to perform in Germany, Malaysia, Singapore and other places. Things came to a head when, having heard about her work in a Christian school, Abesamis invited the youthful vocal coach to participate in the 12th Et Al Choir “Soul Sing Soul” Festival where 18

groups (including the UP Medicine Choir and various church choirs from various places in Luzon) would perform in a two-day celebration of soul lifting music. “It was daunting, since we barely had two months to prepare before the performance in September 2015,” Teacher Charity admits, disclosing that forming church choirs was relatively easier because there were lesser procedures. Fortunately, the school was open to and supportive of the idea, so she began by sifting through a hundred hopefuls, from whom she selected 25 choir members who were “good in pitch, intonation and whose voices could stand alone because there would also be harmonization,” she reveals. Adding to the pressure was the expectations from the parents who were also excited at the prospect of seeing their kids perform outside the confines of the Charis School community – expectations that were not disappointed when the Charis chorale held their own before the older, more experienced groups, endearing themselves before the audience with an evocative rendition of “Cordillera Soundscapes” accompanied by bamboo instruments, a lively delivery of “Sitsiritsit” and the foot-stomping performance of “Bonse Aba,” an African song of celebration that had the crowd clapping and whooping. The performance at the music fest was followed by an invitation from the Senate for the Charis chorale to perform before the opening of one of the Senate’s regular sessions – an experience that served as further encouragement for Teacher Charity and her kids to form the school glee club. For sure, the school chorale still has a long way to go, but for now, the young vocal coach is focused on instilling a deeper love for music among the kids, getting them prepared to extend their God-given talents beyond the immediate environs of the school community – and share soul lifting music in places where the Lord would lead them.


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LIFE life @ thestandard.com .ph

@LIFEatStandard

HIV PosItIVe Poster tour de PIlIPInas

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tigma against HIV and AIDS is still very much prevalent in our society. Whether you’re in the Philippines or not, people infected with the disease always face judgment and discrimination. Oftentimes the stigma brought by AIDS and HIV stems from the lack of knowledge. We are often scared to touch, talk to, or mingle with people who are infected with the disease. HIV and AIDS are not easily transmitted. First and foremost, the public must learn how the dreaded disease is transmitted – one can only get it through blood transfusion with a person who has the disease, through contact with blood, sexual fluids, and breast milk. These bodily fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or be directly injected into the bloodstream for a person to get infected. Last year, Grupo de Incentivo a Vida in Brazil launched a powerful campaign featuring HIV positive posters. Every poster contains a drop of blood from an HIV-positive individual. Since HIV can’t live for more than an hour outside a human host, the posters are completely safe and harmless. The campaign tries to put an end to the stigma that surrounds HIV and AIDS. They’re trying to send out the message to the world that HIV and AIDS carriers are not to be feared, that they are individuals just like you and me,

and the only difference is that they have the dreaded disease in their veins. The posters aim to show that it’s okay to accept HIV and AIDS carriers to our society and that the surrounding stigma should be abolished. It is indeed a lovely world where one can live in a prejudice-free society. In the Philippines, the rate of HIV cases has been increasing in the past few years. A lot of organizations are trying to put the issue to rest and help individuals living with the disease. Last year, Grupo de Incentivo a Vida worked with Faustine Luell Tupas Angeles, a person living with HIV, to bring the Brazilian HIV campaign to the Philippines. Faustine and volunteers of International AIDS Candlelight Memorial gave birth to a cycling team named Pedal for HIV. Faustine is leading the team and he has with him the poster that carries his blood. The posters carry messages that explain how HIV is transmitted and it is made with a drop of blood donated by a person living with HIV (PLHIV). The HIV-Positive Poster campaign has won international awards such as the Bronze Lion at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and Press Category globally and was first released in the Philippines by Pedal for HIV, in partnership with GIV – Life Support Group. Tour de Pilipinas will be travelling to key sites together with two representatives from the Brazil-based GIV

Victor Silba from Grupo de Incentivo a Vida in Brazil, Faustine Luell Tupas Angeles of Pedal for HIV and Red Whistle ambassador Daiana Menezes

– Life Support Group to increase visibility of the HIV Positive Posters, provide information about the disease, and to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination. The campaign already rolled out its Banaue leg last February and is set to be propagated in Cebu this March, then Boracay and Iloilo.

Tour de Pilipinas is organized in partnership with The Red Whistle, an HIV awareness campaign that uses the arts and social media in its advocacy to normalize HIV and AIDS. For more information about Pedal for HIV, follow pedalforHIV on Facebook, and @pedalforHIV on Twitter or visit www.pedal-for-HIV.org.

convalescence ward of the AFp medical center is 114th FTS Wellness center of Sm Foundation SM Foundation, Inc. recently led the turnover of the 114th Felicidad T. Sy Wellness Center located at the AFP Medical Center’s Convalescence Ward. The Wellness Center is the Foundation’s way of paying tribute to the men and women in uniform as it also comes with the upgrading of the Convalescence Ward of the AFPMC. The upgrade involved not only refurbishing and repainting but also the construction of reception areas for patients and their immediate family during visits. Also put in place were the Assistive Device Station, Medication Room, Counseling and Vocational Evaluation Room, Testing Room, Nurses Station, Livelihood Training and Activity Area and an AFPMC gender responsive Female Convalescence Ward. SMFI also provided television sets and board games for the entertainment of patients. The Convalescence Ward is particularly significant as it implements the AFP’s rehabilitation programs for disabled soldiers who sustained service-connected disability. These rehab programs are conducted prior to a soldier’s separation from military service to prepare him for the time when he reverts to civilian status. Livelihood training, health education lecture series, group dynamics, and psychosocial processing through counseling and vocational section are some of the activities implemented via the program. Among the in-house livelihood training programs conducted are computer literacy and hardware as well as meat/food processing and carpentry. Outside vocational trainings such as computer training are conducted with partner agencies/organizations. Vocational evaluation and Certificate of Disability (CDD) are given to deserving soldiers who intend to undergo schooling on vocational/technical courses. Among the other functions of the Convalescence Ward is the conduct of psychological evaluations that include intelligence tests, aptitude, personality and interest tests, the results of which are incorporated in a case plan for an individual soldier. Counseling is also provided to soldiers facing problems as a result of the disability or diseases acquired. Health education lectures geared towards the acquisition of coping skills are likewise given by professionals. Aside from the rehabilitation programs, the Convalescence Ward is also a venue for medical

SMFI’s Connie Angeles, Rear Admiral and AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Allan Rosal, SMFI executive director Debbie Sy, former First Lady Amelita Ramos, and AFP Medical Center Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Acosta

examination and evaluation of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and cognitive system as well as physical and occupational therapy. Informal dialogue on disability claims and benefits also takes place at the ward where claimants exchange and share their experiences and opinions. The AFP Medical Center Convalescence Ward has coordinated with the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA) for the screening of athletes for the Paralympics, a move that boosts the morale of the differently-abled sports enthusiasts among the soldiers. The Convalescence Ward was created in response to the need for rehabilitating military patients who suffered battle-related injuries, and was inaugurated in 1997 during the time of President Fidel Ramos, with then First Lady Amelita Ramos – acknowledged as the guiding figure and number one benefactor of the project – as guest of honor. With the upgrade, the atmosphere at the Convalescence Ward is no longer drab and gloomy, with the cheerful surroundings now greeting patients, medical personnel and visitors. The SM Foundation has been conducting upgrades and renovations in military facilities, with the Convalescence Ward at the AFP Medical Center the 16th that the Foundation has upgraded. Previously, the AFP Medical Center was also the beneficiary of a refurbished Heroes Ward and Orthopedic Ward by the SM Foundation.


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LIFE life @ thestandard.com .ph

The paper, the print and design should be chosen carefully for invitations

@LIFEatStandard

Lovely bouquets add a touch of festivity to weddings

Most prestigious wedding expo at sMx Mall of asia

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ouples planning to take the plunge would do well to make a checklist on the A to Z essentials to make sure that the most awaited day is perfect and seamless. From the invitations to the flowers, to the wedding colors, the cake, the videographers – nothing should be left to chance or last-minute decisions that could ruin what is supposed to be a shining moment for the bride and a day of pride for the groom. To help couples out on such important choices, the country’s most prestigious wedding fair is being held on March 19 and 20 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia grounds organized by Themes & Motifs. The 28th edition of Wedding Expo Philippines, known as Asia’s biggest wedding fair with the theme “Big, Bigger, BEST,” will definitely make it easier and more convenient for all soon-to-weds and their families to prepare for that big day. The Wedding Expo Philippines will occupy the entire ground floor of the SMX Convention Center. A P500,000 promo for soon-to-weds booking their suppliers at the event, a 10,000-sqm wedding wonderland, and the biggest food tasting festival dedicated to weddings await all those who will visit over 400 top wedding professionals in the country who are participating in the 2-day grand celebration. All wedding-related products and services professionals will be under one roof such as fashion designers, caterers, photographers, videographers, limousine providers, invitation makers, hotels, off-site venues, florists, and others who will also offer new promos and great deals to soon-to-weds.

Couples should choose a venue that will make the wedding memorable

The Wedding Expo is also convenient as it makes shopping orderly with five exciting categories that puts the spotlight on the most popular supplier categories:

Wedding Fashion Extravaganza. Wedding gowns, suits, barongs, and fineries for the entourage will be showcased in this catwalkinspired section of Wedding Expo Philippines.

Wedding Banquets Manila. The Philippines’ biggest food tasting festival dedicated to weddings will feature the country’s top three wedding caterers in a free sampling session of wedding menus: Hizon’s Catering, Josiah’s Catering, and Richgold Weddings. The wedding banquet experts will create an ambiance of wedding day grandeur and offer their wedding culinary delights.

I Do HMU. Hair and makeup artists take center stage with free trial makeup offered by participating exhibitors. Brides shouldn’t pass up on this opportunity to see how they will enhance their glow on that big day.

KasaLitrato. This photo and video festival features Asia’s widest selection of photographers and videographers under one roof for capturing those perfect moments and immortalizing them in film and on video.

Floral Fete. Event stylists and florists will definitely enthrall with the loveliest floral setting arrangements and inspirations to set the tone for the wedding day. As an added treat for soon-to-weds, every P1,000 worth of purchase in Wedding Expo Philippines is entitled to a raffle coupon for a chance to win P500,000. Other freebies like eco-friendly loot bags and flyers will also be given, plus token prizes for guests

The perfect wedding gown makes any bride radiant

in the hourly raffle draw. Soon-to-weds will also get a free copy of the latest issue of INSPIRATIONS for Weddings magazine, the country’s most gorgeous wedding publication for both the bride and the groom. Now on its seventh issue, INSPIRATIONS will present a thousand and one wedding ideas brought to life by the country’s most trusted wedding professionals creatively expressing their passion in the latest issue. Studio1 Photography and Goldenhills Jewelry are this year’s major sponsors. Official event stylist Henry Pascual will weave his magic in creating a wedding wonderland ambiance in Wedding Expo Philippines.

SM MEGAMALL NAmED AS TOP TAXPAYEr IN mANDALUYONG

Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, Jr., SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia and SM Megamall assistant vice president Christian Mathay

Premier shopping, dining, and lifestyle destination SM Megamall was recognized by the local government of Mandaluyong as the city’s top taxpayer during Mandaluyong City’s 71st Liberation Day and 22nd Cityhood Anniversary annual celebration held recently at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. The award recognized SM Megamall’s key contribution to the city’s continuous development and the top mall’s generous commitment of time, support and inspiration to the city government. The taxes paid by the mall was instrumental in helping create more jobs, businesses, and other opportunities that uplift the city’s economic growth. SM Megamall has since become known for taking the malling phenomenon to a whole new level, creating a lot of shopping, leisure, and entertainment options not only with its tenant

mix but its introduction of new mall concepts in the Philippines like an Art Walk, an Art Center, and a Megatrade Hall. Over the years, the mall has evolved into a premier shopping, dining, and lifestyle destination. Its newest addition is the Mega Fashion Hall, which is a prominent venue for fashion and lifestyle events, international fashion brands, and well-known foreign restaurants. It is also here that one can find an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, a state-of-theart bowling center, and the first IMAX Theater in Ortigas. Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. presided over the awarding ceremonies with SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia, SM Megamall assistant vice president Christian Mathay and SM Megamall mall manager Egbert Lim on hand during the event.


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‘Best Dressed couple of the Night’ Lilibeth and Pacqui campos

LIFE life @ thestandard.com .ph

Hera geriene was awarded with a ‘Best Dressed female’ oscar

@LIFEatStandard

oscar-themed party and cake for robert miller with son taj and life partner Ito curata

man-of-the-hour robert miller with Ito curata

‘star of the Night’ Len olbes

a niGHT aT THe oscars #INTHEMOMENT By Francis de Leon

a chanteuse serenaded the guests with songs from Les Miserables

atty. mela Bengzon and cory Quirino

Handsome couple Jeff and manolyne taylor on the red carpet

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y the time this column comes out in print, the winners of the 88th Academy Awards would have been announced via a live telecast. The glitzy show was witnessed by a live audience composed of Hollywood’s elite during the awarding ceremonies held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Center last Sunday, February 28. As I was writing this column (much ahead of press time), I dared to profess that my favorite actor of all time, Leonardo Dicaprio, would win the best actor Oscar for his leading role in The Revenant. Was my prediction correct? Indeed, it was a well-deserved accolade. (Magic! have confirmed my gift of foresight!) Levity aside, this Sunday’s column is not about my coverage of the recently concluded 88th Academy Awards. With a (big) grin on my face, how I wished my editor flew me to Hollywood! Nonetheless, I was simply providing reference to an Oscarthemed party I had the honor of attending which

gave me enough reason to drive “sky high” towards the beautiful and tony community at the Southern part of Metro Manila. If there will be a reallife category in the Academy Awards for the “Best Man in a Leading Role,” it will definitely go to Robert Miller. Robert welcomed over 70 of his friends who all trooped to his splendid abode in Ayala Alabang one Saturday night, very avid to greet the “manof-the-moment” a very happy birthday. Definitely, it was one fine evening to remember. Believe me, expect the extraordinary anytime Robert, together with his life partner Ito Curata and son Taj Curata, organize a lavish affair to share with their loved ones. The glitz and glamour was certainly present as special friends made the extra effort (this columnist included) to come in their Oscar-style finery. The palatial manor was aglow with thematic Hollywood-style LED lighting to welcome the arrival of people on the red carpet complete with a golden life-size statue of the Oscar. The guests, composed of Manila’s social elite, definitely had their Oscar “fashion moment” as seen in the images in this Sunday’s column. Adding to the fun was the evening’s entertainment composed of singers and dancers performing a repertoire of well-known musicals immortalized

ann ong and mayenne carmona

Personalized caricature coffee mugs as souvenirs to guests

on film. It was all part of the well thought-off program and extravaganza highlighted when the gracious hosts awarded guests with their very own Oscars (check out the photos of the awardees!). Flowing champagne, exquisite wine, abundance of food, singing, dancing and fun entertainment were all the elements that made this Oscar-themed party one for the books – a super fun affair to remember! “As one gets older, there is a definite desire to live life to the fullest each and every day God gives you,” expressed Robert on the occasion marking his birthday. He added that “’Bucket lists’ become very important as you work to prioritize all the things you really want to do in the time you have left, regardless of whether it is a day or 20 years.” Robert also explained that “A list of items could be something major like taking a two-month cruise around the world, or a simple letter

to a friend who helped you in the past.” To this columnist, I can declare that I really have a long way to go on my “bucket list.” However, I still consider myself lucky to know a leading man such as Robert Miller whom I can emulate as I fulfill my own list. But above all, Robert Miller affirmed what being “in the moment” means – “it’s always time to have fun and enjoy life with family and friends – so let’s PARTY at my birthday party!” And oblige we did. Cheers! P.S. – I would like to sincerely thank the “members of the Academy” for their votes that eventful evening, which awarded me my first Oscar. Now, that’s one off my bucket list. Smile!

I won an oscar! robert miller poses with the evening’s ‘Best Dressed male’

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @francis_deleon8 or email deleon_francis@yahoo.com. Images from PHILDIZ PHoto gaLLery (www.PHILDIZ.com)

Joy rustia

Joanne and gunter matschuck on the red carpet

malu francisco

David Lim received his ‘Best actor’ award from Duday tuason

mario Katigbak, george and terry raquelsantos with Ito curata

margie moran-floirendo with Bob miller and taj curata

sandie castro-Poblador was stunning on the red carpet


C5 Shang Plaza’S fESTIvE MaRch L SunDAy : m A RcH 6, 2016

SHOWBITZ

ISAH V. RED

EDITOR

isahred @ gmail.com

eading lifestyle destination Shangri-La Plaza welcomes March with an amazing line-up of events to fill mall guests’ desires for musical, cultural and celebratory pleasures. Headlining the roster of top local acts to fill the halls of the Shang with sweet music are Matteo Guidicelli and theater sweetheart Joanna Ampil. First up, 6 at 6:30 p.m. today, Matteo Guidicelli takes over the Grand Atrium for his 2016 Album Tour. Initially gaining fame through his racing career, Matteo took an interest both in singing and acting, releasing his firstever single, “Someone Like You” in 2011 under Star Records. This year, he finally launched his first, self-titled album culling a number of pop tunes and sentimental hits. On March 10 to 13, Shang hosts the annual Ikenobo Exhibit by the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Manila Chapter 67. Offering mall guests a new and refreshing artin-nature experience at the Main Wing’s Grand Atrium, the anticipated exhibit and live demonstrations featuring “Ikebana” (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) styles and techniques, provide a wonderful opportunity to better understand and appreciate this disciplined art form. Admission is free and on a first-come, firstserved basis. Serenading shoppers to mark the all-important International

matteo Guidicelli is launching his self-titled album at Shang’s Grand Atrium today

Theater actress Joanna Ampil will take the stage of the Grand Atrium on march 19

Women’s Day, Krissy Villongco will be on stage March 12, 6:30 p.m. at East Atrium. The young talented singer/composer and YouTube sensation (together with sister Ericka) is set to present her repertoire of popular self-composed songs including hit single “12:51”. The awarded theater actress Joanny Ampil whose body of work counts starring roles in West End musicals including Miss Saigon, Jesus Christ Superstar, Av-

enue Q and Les Miserables is set to perform at the Shang’s Grand Atrium on March 19 at 6:30PM. Ampil will fill the evening with heartwarming songs from her extensive repertoire and previous two solo albums. Film enthusiasts are in for a treat as the mall presents the 2016 CineFilipino Film Festival. Screening the 36 finalists of the competition for categories such as original feature-length films, shorts section, documentary, and

TV series, the festival, organized and led by Unitel Productions, Inc. and MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. aims to support and develop new cinematic, audience-friendly works by emerging and established filmmakers with works of 25 artists to be shown in the cinemas. Catch the screenings starting March 16 until the 22nd at the Shang Cineplex. Tickets cost P180.00 for regular patrons and P100.00 for students. Finally, welcome Easter with

an awesome event specially designed for kids. From fun games, tempting food booths, to the great goody hunt, nothing quite beats the fun as Shang mounts “Shang’s Sweet Patisserie”, its annual grand Easter Party, on March 27 at the Main and East Atria. For details on how to register, log on to www. facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage. For inquiries, call 370-2500 loc. 597. Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial

AIcELLE SAnToS AnD JILLIAn WARD SpEnD BIRTHDAy WITH cHILDREn

The American police procedural drama series returns for its 6th season

‘Blue Bloods’ back on the streets of new york

Hollywood veteran Tom Selleck leads the cast of police procedural drama, Blue Bloods, returning for its 6th season. Set in New York City, the show follows a family of police officers: Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) and Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan). It chronicles their lives in the line of duty and off of it, weaving drama and suspense. Season 6 immediately goes into high gear with Danny hot in the heels of a serial killer and Frank dealing with a terrorist threat. Blue Bloods airs at 10:40 p.m. Thursdays. AXN is seen on Cable Link Channel 38, Cignal Digital TV Channel 61, Global Destiny Cable Channel 61, Dream Channel 20, Gsat Channel 12, SKYCable Channel 49.

GMA Artist Center stars Aicelle Santos and Jillian Ward shared their love for kids as they celebrated their birthdays in Bahay Aruga in Manila and KidzCity at the Podium, respectively. Rock N Soul Diva Aicelle Santos who turned 31 on Feb. 24, celebrated her special day with the kids of Bahay Aruga in Ermita, Manila. The children under the care of Bahay Aruga have long been battling cancer and the Kapuso diva admits that this cause is close to her heart. “Personally, nakatanggap ang family namin ng miracle from the Lord. My sister is a cancer survivor kaya gusto ko ring i-share yung healing sa kanila,” claims Aicelle. Aside from the prayers that she offered for the kids, Aicelle also gave them a performance that touched the hearts of the entire community. The Kapuso artist was also hands-on in preparing for the party as she personally handpicked the games and prizes for the patients. Aicelle is currently a hit as the Traffic Diva in the longest-running noontime show in the country, Eat Bulaga and admits to enjoy being part of the Dabarkads. Meanwhile, Jillian Ward happily played and partied with her family and fans in KidzCity. At a young age, Jillian has enjoyed the fulfillment in reaching out to people. As she turned 11, the child star shared her blessings with the fans that have supported her career. Some of her fans are her age, mostly though are moms who admire her works that inspire their children. Jillian relates, “Nakakatuwa po na nandiyan sila para i-celebrate yung birthday ko with me. Gusto ko po talaga silang makalaro, kaya thank you po sa parents nila na pumayag makasama ako.” Jillian is thrilled to be part of the upcoming Kapuso series Poor Señorita, where she will play alongside Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Kapuso singer Aicelle Santos sings for a kid at the Bahay Aruga in Ermita, Manila

Jillian Ward celebrated her birthday with fans and family in Kdzcity


C6

SunDAy : m A RcH 6, 2016

SHOWBITZ

ISAH V. RED EDITOR

isahred @ gmail.com

ERIc TaI’S wInnIng fORm

fit and chiseled: Athlete and fitness enthusiast Eric tai shows off his defined body

A

thlete-turned-Showtime host Eric Tai beams with pride as he talks passionately about his personal fitness triumph. Through sheer will power, the 6’1” hunk now sports a leaner but more defined physique of Marvel superhero proportions – a massive chest, rippling arms and a freakishly welldefined six-pack abs. Think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and you’ll get the idea. “I just lost 30 pounds in just two months just by abiding by a clean and healthy diet combined with exercise,” he asserts proudly. As a fitting reward, Eric has been blessed with the opportunity to immortalize his personal triumph by landing on the cover of the maiden issue of the Philippine edition of Muscle & Fitness, considered as the world’s leading magazine on fitness and bodybuilding. “It feels so surreal! It hasn’t even sunk in yet,” he confesses, recalling the time he drew inspiration from the magazine as a lanky teen-ager. As his own way of giving back to his supportive fans, Eric embarked on his #EruptionTransformation campaign – an ongoing series of videos detailing quick, no-frills workout routines for busy people. “The feedback has been amazing! Some

vids actually get hundreds of thousands of views within 24 hours,” he claims. Now happily married, Eric is thankful for his renewed life perspective. “I’m more of a balanced man now,” he says. “I know how to prioritize now, having a full-time partner in crime who’s very understanding and supportive with everything WE do. Through all the fame and glory, the former Showtime host shares how he’s kept himself grounded, and devoid of any illusions of grandeur. “Thank God always. Everything I have is from Him. Always having the attitude of gratitude to the man upstairs and also towards your fellowmen—this is what I live by,” he shares humbly. This year, Eric is more than ready to level up and get more serious with his acting career. He says, “Acting has always been in my tool bag as I’ve already done theater before I went into Showtime, and even growing up.” Aside from having dabbled in theater and art through past workshops, Eric also studied drama at his secondary college back in Australia. Because of his hefty built, will Eric gravitate naturally towards doing action roles? “I’m more of an action thriller type of guy. And obviously, I’ve idolized Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ever since I was in my teens—from wrestling all the way to the Hollywood big screen.”

Has he done any teleseryes in the past? He says, “Not really. I didn’t have much time back then due to Showtime and me being an athlete. But I do remember a scene or two coming in beating people up. Haha! The role of the big boy!” Now that he’s signed up with Arnold Vegafria’s ALV Talent Circuit, Eric feels more confident about breaking new ground in the industry. “We’ve actually signed up with him like two or three years ago,” he explains. “But because we got busy with Cookies ‘n Cream (his sexy/novelty group with Phil. Volcanoes teammates Andrew Wolff and Chris Everingham), we got pretty busy with our own lives. Now that we’re back on track, I’m confident that Arnold can help me focus more on my acting.” How did Eric discover his gift as a showbiz performer/host? Was he always the fun, gregarious type? He muses, “I kinda knew I was a performer growing up as a young kid, performing at dances and events. I was also singing in the local church choir. I just didn’t take singing seriously growing up as I was more into acting and dancing. As I grew up, I knew that this would have an impact in my life in the future.” Asked about his ultimate showbiz dream, Eric says, “I’d really want to follow Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s footsteps and to also share what I know with people around the world, especially regarding fitness and aesthetics.”

MARCH 6, 2016

confESSIonS, A REAl VAlEntInE’S tREAt It was memorable evening of romantic songs and expressions of love with 16 of the country’s up and coming theatre and singing stars who regaled the audience with what could turned out to be one of the biggest musical events this year. Confessions on Feb. 12 at the Music Museum was Stages Sessions pre-Valentines’ Day gift to music fans. It featured some of the country’s best indie and mainstream artists –Aicelle Santos, Curtsmith, Bullet Dumas, Issa Rodriguez, Dane Hipolito, Keiko Necesario, Ryan Christopher Sy, Tim Pavino, Franz Pantaleon, Tippy Dos Santos, Gio Quintos, Polly Cabrera, Steven Silva, Clara Benin, Serge Gabriel

and Morisette Amon. The concert was presented in three parts: Part 1 showcased the thrills and joy of Falling in love; with covers from the 90’s OPM hit “Torete” by Moonstar88, Stephen Speaks’ “Passenger Seat”, Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and Up Dharma Down’s “Tadhana” that spoke of the sweet and crazy feelings of falling in love. “Hello, I haven’t met you yet, or maybe I’ll never meet you or worst I’ve already met you”… Serge Gabriel’s Spoken Word on heartbreak opened the second part and brought back the memories of loving and being broken because of love.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE

ANSWER FOR PREVIOUS PUZZLE ACROSS 1 Meadow rodent 5 Eyed amorously 10 Let up 16 Almond confection 21 Ominous sign 22 Corn-chip name 23 Of yore 24 Spanish hero (2 wds.) 25 Monogram pt. 26 Sell stolen goods 27 Longs for 28 Jangle 29 Undressed 31 Winnebagos et al. 33 Ballet attire 35 2001, to Livy 36 Ms. Verdugo 37 “— — Her

Standing There” 40 Capone foe 41 Reach across 42 Truck mfr. 45 Eur. airline 46 Semi front 48 Sweet-talk 50 Raising a ruckus 52 Pest in a nest 54 Mislay 55 QB — Kramer 57 Dawn to dusk 58 Dolphin habitat 59 Floats like a cork 60 Slide downhill 62 Cheerful 66 Phony 67 Circus performers 69 Go over again 71 Hold sway

72 74 76 78 79 80 83 85 88 89 90 93 95 97 98 100 101 106 108 110 112 113 115 116 117 118 120 122 123 124 128 129 130 131 132 133 135 137 139 140 142 144 148 150 153 155 156 157 158 159

Bug off! (3 wds.) — Maria Hipbone part Colossal Game-show prize Manner Usher’s job Forum attire Madrid art gallery Youngsters Burma capital Bat swingers Boarding school U.N. member Groovy Constantly, to Poe Tall flower Give a ticket Burned and looted Attacks on a castle Sheriff Andy’s son Dreaded assignment Like many a train Competed for Regretful Fellow Bruce — of film Boat’s trail Growl at, perhaps Fired up the hibachi — -roaring Annapolis grad Kind of rack Ate for dinner “— kleine Nachtmusik” Kind of grin Joule fractions Olympic site Soyuz destination To date (2 wds.) Multipurpose truck Buffalo-hunting people Danish toast It often splits Move a fern Agree with Phone response Thicker, as fog Cherry center Blissful spot

SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2016 160 161 162 163

Skilled Made catty remarks Not long-winded For fear that DOWN 1 Yawning fissure 2 Former science magazine 3 Aloha tokens 4 — nous 5 Way-out 6 Salad ingredients 7 Darnell or Ronstadt 8 Handy abbr. 9 Active sort 10 Vast chasm 11 Ta-ta! 12 Khan of note 13 Grounds for a suit 14 Boredom 15 “— Rides Again” 16 Chest muscles 17 Totality 18 Garlicky shrimp dish 19 “Oz” role (2 wds.) 20 Border 30 Merlin — of the NFL 32 Intuition 34 Pre-owned 38 Floor 39 More than bad 41 Foxier 42 Seance invitee 43 Gourmet coffee 44 Spooky noise 46 Gauzy trap 47 Part of PGA 49 North Sea platform 51 Drink like Rover 53 Luggage attachment 54 Scope it out 56 Tip over 59 Brief upturn 61 Lectern’s place 63 Cube inventor 64 Kevin of “Dave” 65 Safe experts? 67 T’ai — ch’uan 68 Buckled down 69 Vikings, often

Coldplay’s “Fix You” and “The Scientist”; Celine Dion’s “I Love You Goodbye” and the classic Gary V. OPM song “Sana Maulit Muli” performed by Tim Pavino and Morissette Amon were some of the cover performances that highlighted it. The concert closed with a showcase of what it takes and how it’s like to Move on. Joey Ayala’s “Walang Hanggang Paalam” performed by Bullet Dumas and Aicelle Santos; Tippy Dos Santos’ cover of “Still Hurting” and Issa Rodriguez and Steven Silva’s cover of “Time after Time” by Cyndi Lauper were just some of the songs that defined moving on and living through a broken heart. 70 Rightful 73 Fiery felony 75 Up in arms 77 Salt’s pal 81 Prefix for gram 82 Choice word 84 Violent storm 85 Temporary peace 86 Camel’s pit stop 87 No-see-ums 91 Not ‘neath 92 Picture holder 93 Not as bland 94 Harem possessors 95 Implored 96 “Kidnapped” monogram 99 Warty critter 102 Curved molding 103 Ms. Winfrey 104 About that time 105 Entered data 107 Flying predator 109 Hair-raising 111 “Terrible” tsar 114 Mongkut portrayer 117 Arrangement 119 Somber evergreens 121 Radio’s PBS 122 Into the sunset 123 Dugong cousin 124 Obi wearer 125 Exposed to danger 126 Boot part 127 Wood nymphs 130 Leggy waders 134 Gulf nation 136 Museum employee 137 Steam or mist 138 Canvas support 140 Oodles (2 wds.) 141 Braxton or Tennille 143 While beginning 145 Go to earth 146 Ben Jonson works 147 Thrilled 149 Bavarian peak 151 Sixth sense 152 Pollen spreader 154 Summer in Savoie

The full-house crowd could be heard humming their favorite tunes as they exit the Music Museum that was filled to the rafters with all sorts of quaint decorations hanging above the stage such as love letters, balloons, bouquet of flowers and boxes of chocolates that reminded everyone of February as the romantic month and set the mood for that perfect evening of love songs and deep personal longings. “Confessions” comes as a reaffirmation of Stages Sessions’ passion and commitment of bringing the best of music up close and personal to fans by being a venue where artists’ present their musical repertoire before a live and interactive audience.


SunDAy : m A RcH 6, 2016

SHOWBITZ

ISAH V. RED EDITOR

isahred @ gmail.com

C7

Simmering love triangle: Sef as Juan tamad (center) with max and Valeen as marie and mayumi, respectively

Valeen montenegro and Sef cadayona

JuAn DIScoVERS I mAyumI’S bIg SEcREt

n Juan Tamad, Juan finds himself falling in love with the new girl, Mayumi. Fascinated by her many guises—as mascot, cosplayer and girl next door— Juan tries to discover who the real Mayumi is. Little by little, he realizes there truly is much more to her than meets the eye. Juan catches Mayumi crying in a Chinese funeral procession, encounters her one evening at a traditional Filipino wake and finally sees her poster as the model of Di Makatulog Funeral Homes. It turns out that Mayumi is helping her

family with their struggling funeral business but is too embarrassed to explain this to her schoolmates. Her specialty is putting makeup on the dead. With Juan and Mayumi sharing secrets and becoming extra close, Marie gets bitten by the jealousy bug. Juan Tamad is played by Sef Cadayona and Mayumi by Valeen Montenegro, with Max Collins in the role of Marie. Watch how their love triangle starts getting extra complicated at 4:45 p.m. today on GMA.

HigH ratings for ‘otWoL’ and ‘Pasion de amor’ finaLes

Jon Arayata SKybiz head; Eloisa balmoris, SKy chief finance officer, and march Ventosa, SKy chief operating officer

Sky’s first mall-based business center

Sky Cable Corporation r launched “SKY Zone,” the first mall-based business center in Manila to bring services closer to Filipino families in the metro. Located in the topmost floor of SM Southmall’s Cyberzone in Las Pinas, “SKY Zone” allows SKY subscribers and the public easy access to the wide array of services including payments, applications, and tryouts of their latest services. “SKY Zone” also lets the public enjoy for free its fast speed and seamless 200mbps broadband connection and watch SKYcable’s roster of more than 200 SD and HD channels in crystal clear picture and crisp sound. Apart from Manila, SKY currently operates four other “SKY Zone” branches in Cebu and Davao as part of their effort to boost their brand presence in key convergence areas in Visayas and Mindanao. SKY will also open a new branch in Pasig and Iloilo soon.

It’s another achievement for James Reid and Nadine Lustre. The Kapamilya show On the Wings of Love proved to be a hit until the very end as it scored an all-time high national TV rating of 27.8 percent, according to Kantar Media. Its finale also sent Twitter abuzz, generating almost 4 million tweets. But it’s not only On the Wings of Love that enjoyed stellar finale ratings. According to data from Kantar Media, Pasion de Amor posted a national TV rating of 18.5 percent, a four-point lead over its rival program, GMA’s Wowowin (14.8 percent). In the last episode, eternal love and forgiveness prevailed as the Elizondo sisters finally achieved peace in their lives when they reconciled with their mother. Despite their devastating loss, the characters of Pasion de Amor showcased the value of looking forward to the future without any regrets and starting anew.

The back-to-back finale ratings success of the two Kapamilya programs prove how ABS-CBN consistently rules the country’s primetime TV landscape. Kapamilya viewers should also look forward to how The Story of Us and I Will Survive, the two newest Kapamilya primetime shows, will make waves in the country and abroad among Filipinos. “otwol” stars James Reid and nadine lustre

bela Padilla, Susan Roces new bFFs

Susan Roces admits to having fun working with young actors and actresses like Bela Padilla. Padilla posted a video on her Instagram account while enjoying the cake they were sharing on the set of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano on ABS-CBN. And, guess what hashtag Padilla

used in the caption for the video? It was #BFF. “I am happy na nakakapag-interact ako sa kapwa artista ko. Nakakasama ko rin ang mga baguhan, mga bata, so I get updated,” Roces said when she went with her daughter Senator Grace Poe and her vice-presidential candidate Senator

Chiz Escudero in their Iloilo sortie on Feb. 16. It’s evident that Roces and Padilla have become closer because the niece of action star Robin Padilla is openly campaigning for Poe for president. Padilla also joined the Poe-Escudero sortie in Iloilo.

AbS-cbn bAgS 6 AnVIl AwARDS ABS-CBN Corporation, the country’s leading media and entertainment company bagged a total of six Anvil Awards, including a Platinum Anvil Award for its “Pope, Thank You sa Malasakit” (PopeTYSM) social media campaign. It was cited for “exemplary employment of social media tools in support of stakeholder management objectives, successfully engaging a grateful nation and drawing support as an effective and tangible conduit of personal messages to the Pope.” The Anvil Awards, given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, are considered the Oscars in the local PR industry, while a Platinum Anvil is one of the highest honors given to a winning entry in

the annual awards-giving body. Aside from winning a Platinum Anvil Award, the PopeTYSM campaign also won a Gold Anvil Award for collecting social media messages compiled in a Book of Thanks that showed the nation’s gratitude to Pope Francis after visiting the country. It also won a Silver Anvil Award for ABSCBN’s cross platform coverage that captured the nation’s message of gratefulness to the Pope. ABS-CBN also won an Anvil Award for the successful launch of its pioneering TVplus mahiwagang black box that changed the Filipinos TV viewing experience with digital clear picture and exclusive free TV channels for the whole family. The “Kapamilya Thank You:

ABS-CBN Christmas Party 2014” also won for its “memorable Christmas celebration that generated indelible happy moments for the company and its grateful workforce.” The Kapamilya network was also recognized for its “Revlon Love is On” campaign for being a successful influence in localizing the global campaign of Revlon lipstick via social media, photo entries on a microsite, and billboards display. The 51st Anvil Awards night was held at the Makati Shangrila on Feb 26. With a total of six Anvil Awards, ABS-CBN is the most Anvil-awarded TV network. Last year, ABSCBN was honored with the muchcoveted Grand Anvil Award for its

Anvil winners from AbS-cbn pose for a group picture

“Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na” advocacy campaign that brought relief and rehabilitation for the victims of the Bohol quake and typhoons Pablo and Yolanda in 2013. ABS-CBN had also won two Bronze Anvil Awards for the book “Kapitan” that tells the story of its founder Eugenio Lopez Jr. (2007) and for the Guiness World Record-breaking advocacy fun run “10.10.10 Run for Pasig River (2011). The Anvil Awards is an annual

event organized by the PRSP that honors outstanding public relations programs and tools. Prior to the Anvil Awards, ABS-CBN earned eight recognitions for its PR programs from the Philippine Quill Awards given by the International Association of Business Communicators. ABS-CBN was the mostawarded TV network in both Anvil and Quill Awards that honor the best works in public relations and business communications.


SunDAy : m A RcH 6, 2016

C8

ISAH V. RED EDITOR isahred @ gmail.com

SHOWBITZ

An ‘enchos” pair: Kristoff played by John Lapus falls in love with Alex medina’s character, carlo

‘EchORsIs’ sTaR alEx MEDIna flaTTERED by gROwIng gay fan basE

m

ention the name Alex Medina when chatting with a gay friend and chances are your chum will show all signs of being totally smitten. Indeed, the ruggedly handsome actor and lead star of the horror-comedy film, Echorsis: Sabunutan Between Good and Evil has been the object of the local gay community’s sexual fantasies in the past few years, earning him the moniker kilabot ng mga beki or “gay heartthrob.” “I like it,” Alex, the son of acclaimed actor Pen Medina, unabashedly admits. “If my being a gay heartthrob catches on, eh di sige, okay. I am comfortable with the way I am, which is why I’m fine with it. Nakaka-flatter s’ya actually.” Medina relates that he used to receive numerous “indecent proposals” from gay fans on social media. However, such rabid attention eventually declined when he became more visible in movies and television. “Dati ang dami-dami kong natatanggap na ganung messages, pero lately wala na halos. How did I respond to these? I would nicely but candidly tell them, ‘Sorry po, that’s not my thing,’ ” he says. In Echorsis: Sabunutan Between Good and Evil, Alex takes on the role

ISAH V. RED

of Carlo, a sweet-tongued and charismatic gigolo possessed by a gay spirit Kristoff (John Lapus). The film, which likewise top bills Callalily vocalist Kean Cipriano as Father Nick, was directed by Lemuel Lorca and written by Jerry Gracio. “Doing the role of Carlo was both fun and challenging. Mahirap ang role, lalo na the physical side to it because I had to play various personas at the same time,” Alex recounts. He even shares that he was initially more afraid of the so-called “curse” that reportedly afflicts those who work on the filming of horror movies than being typecast for such offbeat roles as the one he did for Echorsis. “Yes, I’ve heard stories that the cast and production crews of horror films occasionally experience real-life scary episodes,” Alex claims. “They say that the process inadvertently summons the dark forces that bring about the ‘curse’. Mas lalo akong kinabahan nang may naramdaman kaming mga in-

explicable incidents on the Bulacan set. Sabi ko, baka ito na yun!” Such quirky sidelights notwithstanding, Alex is upbeat about the commercial success of the film. The actor believes that while it is expected to get the support of the pink market, the widely anticipated film will attract an even bigger audience, especially those who are looking for an out-of-the-box and intelligent narrative. “Echorsis is about love and forgiveness. Matatawa ka ng husto pero lalabas ka sa sinehan realizing na nirespeto ka ng pelikula bilang isang matalinong manonood,” Alex stresses. Even now, a few weeks prior to its April 13 opening in cinemas nationwide, the highly anticipated movie has become the talk of the town. The Echorsis’ trailer has gone viral, receiving close to two million views. Completing the ensemble cast of the film are Alessandra de Rossi, Chokoleit, Kiray Celis, Mich Liggayu, Ruby Ruiz, Negi Negra, Bekimon, Nico Antonio, Francine Garcia, Odette Khan, and 1:43’s Yuki Sakamoto, Anjo Resurreccion, Gold Aquino, and Yheen Valero. BellaVita Land Corp. and McJim Classic Leather support the film.

Happy times for carlo (medina) and Kristoff (Lapus)

carlo (medina) became possessed by a gay spirit

Alex medina seduces John Lapus

‘Echorsis’ producer chris cahilig and actor Alex medina

Kristoff (medina) and Father nick (cipriano) in a dramatic scene

Alex medina is carlo- a gigolo victimizing gay men